Theo’s review published on Letterboxd:
Methodic and brutal like a Coen Brothers film, with the authenticity and grip of a Ken Loach Kitchen Sink drama, soaked up by Cronenberg’s perfectly honed in body-horror tendencies - the glorious baths scene a typical assault of the senses, the combination of clammy bodies n large leathery men creating an unavoidable homoerotic stickiness.
Viggo Mortensen at the crest of his ability, bringing an endearing menace and his built-in machismo, transforming into a man canvassed in tattoos and indecipherable motivations, bridging the gap of his less friendly ruthless attributes with a universal coolness and bravado - and looking slicker than most in the process.
At the end you’re left wondering if Mortensen’s Nikolai is a good man stuck in a bad world, or a bad man using the bad world to make his good. Full of deceit, lies and unclear motives, slowly unveiling itself with intricate diverting details until you realise - much like Nikolai’s ominous interior-motives - that even after spending 100 minutes in this world; how can any of us have the faintest idea what the rules are, when the people in it don’t?