Lawless is directed by John Hillcoat and written by Nick Cave. The two had previously collaborated on western masterpiece The Proposition, which is one of my all time favorite movies. So I was a bit disappointed with Lawless. as it was a deeply flawed movie.
First lets start with what Lawless gets right. For one it looks great. The shop composition is fantastic. It also largely works as a period piece with realistic and accurate aesthetics all around ranging from the costumes to the environments. Its overall well directed and edited too. And last but not least it contains a stand out performance from character actor Guy Pearce who gives by far the most memorable performance in the film as the main bad guy.
The biggest flaw however is the script. Which has many plot holes/contrivances and wooden, uninteresting characters. Not even great actors like Tom Hardy or Jessica Chastaine manage to shine with their roles. There simply is not enough to these characters to make you care.
Also Shia Labeouf feels miscast to me. He does an alright job for the most part but he does not have the charisma or screen presence to be the lead of the film (especially not when he has to go toe to toe with actors like Guy Pearce, Tom Hardy, and Gary Oldman) he also doesn't know how to do a southern accent properly or consistently (to be fair Hardy also has trouble with this)
There are individual great scenes in this film. But it does not add to being a solid film all around thanks to a incomplete feeling story with too many contrivances, and wooden one dimensional characters. Also why did this movie hire Gary Oldman (one of the finest actors of all time) for a role that amounted to nothing more than a cameo?!?!
Action / Crime / Drama
Action / Crime / Drama
In 1931, in Franklin County, Virginia, Forrest Bondurant is a legend as immortal after surviving the war. Together with his brothers Howard and the coward Jack, the Bondurant family has a distillery and bootlegging business. When the corrupt District Attorney Mason Wardell arrives in Franklin with the unscrupulous Special Deputy Charles Rakes, the Bondurant family refuses to pay the required bribe to the authorities. Rakes pursues the brothers and unsuccessfully tries to find their distillery. Meanwhile Forrest hires the waitress Maggie, a woman with a hidden past in Chicago, and they fall in love with each other. Jack courts the preacher's daughter Bertha Minnix and deals a great load of alcoholic liquor with the powerful gangster Floyd Banner. Jack shows off in Franklin attracting the attention of Rakes that finds the location of their distillery. When he kills the crippled Cricket Pete, the locals join forces to face the corrupt authorities.
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November 15, 2012 at 12:52 AM