Since as we all recall from tracking Komsomol in the seventies, before the revisionist ideological deviationalists had embarked upon the deviant imperialists Trotskyite Revisionist Adventurism in Afghanistn, "if the party falls, all will suffer under Chicago Style Gangsterism!" ( which should not be confused with Chicago (band) that was big on brass, but in the horn section, and not in the tommy gun section... )
Ok. Maybe if one arrived with a bit of the background history in one's bag, the film looks a whole lot different than if one showed up, and, knew nothing about Russian History beyond one's religious commitment to Russian Borscht being better than any other Borscht...
But then again, is it a plot spoiler to remind folks that more than Once the KGB ran the 'section chief' on the legal manifest of russians in country, as 'the chauffeur'. Probably news to many, but the tradition is there as well.... Amongst the dark uglies is this core problem of how DO we in the west want to deal with the issues of other countries, where they have the usual 'traditional values' of "emmigrate or die" - for any number of reasons.
Personally I think that there is a good basis for doing a Franchise Here.
Who knows, it may help americans work out what they want to believe about 'traditional family values' - not to mention the usual problems of how to deal with 'trust issues'.
Bottom line - this is a film that one should see in the Cinema, with friends, and a support network. It is painfully violtent, and is intentionally doing it to move the plot and story along. This is not a pretty boy film, even if my lady friend put the happy faced spin on it, "but you get to see ViggoMortensen rolling around in the buff..."