Sep 10, 2012
Lawless is a 2012 drama movie about the lives of three brothers (Jack, Howard and Forrest) who fight to survive and keep their business afloat in the prohibition era. John Hillcoat directed a Nick Cave script based on a book written by Matt Bondurant.
One of the most anticipated movies of this fall, Lawless features an ensemble cast with big names like Tom Hardy, Jessica Chastain, Shia LaBeouf, Gary Oldman and Guy Pearce, and promises a hell of a ride, not only by looking at the names involved, but also by checking out the synopsis and possible outcome. Many say it's a gangster movie; it is set in the prohibition era, when liquor was hard to find and distribute, and there are a lot guns and violence used. Actually, when it's violent, it's fucking violent- a lot of force and strength, hard hitting punches and blood-heavy moments. Some scenes are unsettling to watch and this kind of violence affects you more than the usual guns firing or horror movie killings. The story follows the Bondurant brothers of Franklin, Virginia, who were one of the very few people who didn't give in into the pressure of the petty thugs and protected their business with all costs during those hard times. Guy Pearce, as Charlie Rakes, is the classic monster, villain and all around bad guy, giving probably the standout performance of the film, while Gary Oldman, as Mafia man Floyd Banner, kicks ass and proves his ability from the start, giving a very believable gangster performance in under 1 minute; he has a surprising change in character development, but is underused. Maybe that's where the problem lies with this film - the little flaws of the script that are not visible immediately, but that ultimately affect the overall opinion of it: underdeveloped characters, unbelievable stories and lines, and so on.
Otherwise, Lawless is pretty wonderful to watch. It has beautiful cinematography, it's well directed and the soundtrack is appropriate to the action. The sets and costumes are very good and it has the right feel of the era. As for the casting, there was little to no fault to it, although I had my doubts with Shia LaBeouf, mainly because I just find him to be quite annoying. By the end, he proved me wrong, in most scenes, but then again, I don't think he had a challenging part to play. The two best performances definitely come from Guy Pearce and Tom Hardy. The first one, as the wild, control-freak, obsessed, dirty police force, proves to the world, yet again, his immense talent, and I am pretty sure we will definitely see him around the awards ceremonies this year for his Supporting Role. Tom Hardy is probably one of the best and the most underrated actors of our time and his performance in Lawless just enforces this opinion- he plays the grumpy, distant, no-emotions Forrest in an amazing way, demanding attention and respect for his courage, unwillingness to surrender and loyalty. Other big names are, unfortunately, underused, and that was a shame- Gary Oldman barely had 10 minutes on screen, and the two leading ladies, Chastain and Wasikowsa, could have had more developed and complex characters to base their performances on, but still, they did a good job.
In the end, you will leave the cinema thinking "That was a very good movie", but not being too impressed by it. I liked it and I suggest you should see, but don't go in with high expectations- somehow, somewhere, it doesn't quite deliver its promises all the way.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Oh I hate when they underuse great actors... To not fully use the talent of Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain and Mia Wasikowska is just stupid.ReplyDelete
I'm really excited for Guy Pearce -I always liked him, but he sort of disappeared for some years... now he's coming back, yeah!
hmm Tom Hardy... I never payed much attention to him until TDKR, shamefully. But his role as Bane really impressed me, so I'm keeping an eye on him from now on.
I first saw Tom Hardy in Rockn'Rolla and I liked him ever since then. He is a good actor, deserves the credit. Thanks Sofia!Delete
Good review Diana. Shia was good, Tom was good, but the one who really knocked this out of the park was Guy Pearce. Hopefully, just hopefully, he may get his first Oscar nomination for this but I almost highly doubt it since it’s a little too early to be calling out nominations so soon.ReplyDelete
Thanks Dan! I agree, Guy Pearce was great and I am hoping for a nomination, although, as you said, you never know with these kinds of thingsDelete
I agree on the film. It's good, but not remarkable. Though, I don't think Guy Pearce will get any awards consideration for his performance. Shia LaBeouf was great, but Tom Hardy's performance reminded me a lot of his performance in Warrior. I was more impressed with his performance in The Dark Knight Rises, actually.ReplyDelete
Hmm, similar to his performance in Warrior? I can see where you're coming from, but i think this is a little bit different- still, a good one.Delete
Based on the reviews I read so far, the gruesome violence and the fact that it wasn't as good as it promised to be makes me think I should just rent this. I like Hardy, but what Josh said confirmed what I thought from the trailer, seems like his performance mimicked the one in Warrior.ReplyDelete
It is a good movie, but if you're not ok with violence or impressed by the topic, you should wait for it to come on DVDDelete
Great review! I'm gonna catch this one on DVD, don't feel like paying money for ticket to see Labeouf on big screen voluntarily :) Shame Oldman doesn't have big part in this one, sounds like a cool character for him to play!ReplyDelete
Oldman's character was actually really cool, I wish he was in it more, tooDelete
Good review. We posted our review at TheMovieSleuth.com too.ReplyDelete
Thanks Christopher, I will check out yours soon!Delete