Viggo Mortensen
28 Days - 2000

Some movies are just fluff, while some can change lives. 28 Days falls solidly into the second category, although it is by no means it is a documentary. It is a light Hollywood treatment of a serious topic. You can take the point of view that at least maybe people who ARE addicted will see it without realizing the full import up front, and realize they need help.

We begin with Sandra Bullock's character, who is a New York lady living the high life with her boyfriend. After a night of heavy drinking, she wakes up late for her older sister's wedding. She completely destroys the wedding, crashes the wedding limo and ends up in rehab.

You get the typical transition from surly, angry newcomer to understanding, coping recovery person - learning more about her past and the characters around her along the way. Situations are extremely two dimensional and oversimplified, but to be fair, the movie only has so many minutes in which to tell the story. There are the traditional set-backs and problems, and small victories.

So where is Viggo, the 2nd billing, in all of this? If you're a Viggo fan, you spend about half the movie waiting for him. He eventually shows up as a baseball pitcher tossed into rehab to fix his drugs-and-girls habit. He's got southern charm and a laid back personality, as always. And yes, there are horses. It seems Viggo likes to be in horse-movies. In this case, the horse is one of the key "characters" - it symbolizes Sandra's ability to finally let things go and trust in life.

Viggo Mortensen

It's actually suprising that Viggo got second billing here. He doesn't have many lines, and he isn't even a 'romantic partner' for Sandra. In fact he is quite innocent when Sandra's boyfriend accuses Viggo of stepping into the situation. Viggo does deliver the final message to her as she leaves rehab, though - to learn how to forgive, and to cut her boyfriend loose in order to face a new world alcohol-free. Sure enough, it turns out her boyfriend is trying to drag her right into the same world, and she does better to go it alone.

The scenes with Viggo were a little contrived, but they had their own charm. Viggo had his low key country charm, but punched Sandra's boyfriend pretty quickly when things got rough. He showed Sandra how to pitch, and had her throw the ball with her eyes closed, to teach her trust. On the other hand, he was literally caught with his pants down, showing that he hadn't quite given up the sleeping around yet.

The only thing missing here in the "Viggo Standards" was another language - Viggo only gets to speak "southern American" in this film!

Interestingly, this was Viggo's last movie before the Lord of the Rings series. So he went from a very understated role, to one which made him world famous.

Buy 28 Days from

Viggo Mortensen Movie Listing
Viggo Mortensen Biography