by Adam Young
Sitting down in the theatre to watch lawless with my wife and friends, I had mixed emotions and no serious expectations outside of the fact that I knew there would be violence and some very slick hair cuts. What I left the theatre with was much, much more than I expected.
Lawless follows the bootlegging careers of the three Bondurant brothers Jack (Shia LaBeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy) and Howard (Jason Clark) in prohibition era Virginia. Their lives move along comfortably and their bootlegging business is unhindered by the evils of organized crime in the big cities. This all changes when Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pierce) comes to town, and systematically tries to eliminate not only the Bondurant’s business, but their lives and the lives of those around them.
While I’ve never thought much of LaBeouf’s acting he does a fairly good job portraying Jack, the youngest and most mild mannered of the family. The character that shines the most however is Forrest Bondurant, played by Tom Hardy. Forrest is the middle brother and he controls the family business. Forrest has a tendency towards violence when it comes to defending what is his, but he’s not always a “shoot first, ask questions later” type of guy. What I really appreciated about the character is that Hardy shows a thoughtful and even reflective side to a character that could have very easily been all brawn and no brains.
Everything about this film is period-correct down to the razor part shaved down the middle of Guy Pierce’s head. Lawless shows not just how prohibition changed people’s business ventures, but how it effected their day-to-day lives. While I’m not sure that this film will gain serious accolades (however I do feel that Hardy could earn an Oscar nod for his portrayal of Forrest Bondurant) I can definitely say that you will leave the theatre seriously entertained.
If american gangster movies are your thing, why not sign up to an online streaming service such as LOVEFiLM and watch as many as you want?