Matt's Reviews > A History of Violence

A History of Violence by John Wagner
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's review
Sep 27, 11

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Read on September 27, 2011

It's tough to review this book having seen the movie first except to say that despite my respect for Cronenberg the movie was, in my eyes, a massive failure at portraying the events laid out in this graphic novel. The Vision alone is so vastly different: the art here is so gritty and perfectly sets the tone and atmosphere for the coming and occurring violence; the story flows much better here, and takes its time unfolding while still keeping a straight pace (where I felt that the film seemed to proceed painfully slowly filling minutes with what could have been done in seconds, making it feel watered down and empty); and the characters seem much more realistic - which I understand is tough when you're casting actors, but sometimes you can't help but see the celebrity in the roles they play.

I would like to say the story was predictable, which was my main qualm with the story itself, but even that's difficult to claim knowing full well what was going to happen before even opening the cover. I've seen enough movies and read enough books, though, that this isn't really the only time one of these cases-of-mistaken-identity-turns-out-to-be-not-so-mistaken type things has happened.

Overall, the art, writing and direction earned it a 5; however, the story earned brought it down to a 4 and, unfortunately, the movie taints it to a 3.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Timothy Wait, you're knocking a star off because you didn't like a film adaptation?

message 2: by Matt (last edited Feb 10, 2013 10:25PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Matt To an extent, yes. Granted, it was my fault for seeing the movie first (though at the time I had no idea it was based on a graphic novel), I couldn't not see the movie as I read the book. In my opinion when a writer options a movie, he's making that an extension of the book and though you can have one without the other when you've had both it's tough to look at one as a separate work.
Maybe if i had read the book first I might have actually appreciated the movie more but, alas, that's not how it happened.

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