With all the repetitive films which have come out this year, such as demonic possession films and reboots/remakes of old films, it was good to see film which offered a different genre to an audience, a type of film which has not really been as big since ‘Public Enemies’ in 2009. Although the initial reason I was eager to see ‘Lawless’ was the fact that British actor, Tom Hardy, starred in it, it was also a film which interested me because I am a fan of the classic 1930s gangster/prohibition in effect type films, which, like ‘Lawless’, are generally based on truth and are brought to life well.
The plot centres around the Bondurant brothers from Franklin County, Virginia, who have grown up with violence to their name, and have got into the bootlegging of moonshine business during the great depression of 1931. Jack, Shia LaBeouf, is the youngest and the least violent of the brothers, and throughout the film is trying prove that he belongs to the Bondurant’s and is just as fierce as they are. His older brothers Forrest, Tom Hardy, and Howard, Jason Clarke, are trying to rake in as much money from the illegal business as they can, and they are the muscle which stops many people from messing with them. However as we know in most films, when things start to go well and feel great, there is always a villain around the corner who wants to change that. Guy Pierce plays special detective Charlie Rakes, who portrays his part so well in making the audience despise him, as he tries to shut down the Bondurant brothers stills, and take out anyone in the process.
The film stars some of Hollywood’s greatest actors, such as: Tom Hardy, Guy Pierce, Gary Oldman and Shia LaBeouf. It also stars Jessica Chastain, Mia Wasikowska and Dean DeHaan. Fresh off of being in one on the summers biggest blockbusters, The Dark Knight Rises, Gary Oldman portrays city gangster Floyd Banner, although only being in a few scenes of the film, he still shows what he can do with a small role, by making him look like someone to fear.
Tom Hardy, not surprisingly, plays one of the best roles in the film, the London born actor has come up through the silver screen over the past 10 years, appearing in Inception, RocknRolla, The Dark Knight Rises, This Means War, Layer Cake, Bronson and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy in which every film, apart from a few he has brought the story to life in the character which he plays.
Shia LaBeouf was once a favourite actor of mine, from Holes through to Surf’s Up he always gave a stunning performance, although it was once he was cast in the first Transformers film which saw his acting just turn to just pure shouting, the same could be said for eagle eye. His career then for some reason jumped on to acting in sequels, such as the gradually getting worse Transformers saga, or terrible reboots of what were classic films (Indiana Jones). However it seems in ‘Lawless’ he has gone back to how he used to portray characters rather than just shouting, and he has pulled out a stunning performance, one which I have not seen him try to accomplish before, trying to be a violent hick who is also trying to woo a girl, that can’t be an easy role to play.
The film was directed by John Hillcoat, who is also famous for bringing to the screen the 2009 film ‘The Road’. The film was based on the novel ‘The Wettest County In The World’, which was written by Matt Bondurant, a descendant of the original Bondurant brothers.
If you are looking for a non-repetitive film which has a gripping story line and presents actors in stunning roles, then I would recommend going to see Lawless.
Lawless is out now.