Bullet Points: Lawless
The fact that they’re making films based on a set of real brothers who ran a moonshine/bootlegging operation in Virginia in the early 1930’s makes me very happy. There are so many films released each year that don’t appeal to me at all that it’s nice to have one which combines several elements that should have guaranteed an excellent end product. Tom Hardy tried his luck with that shit-tastic Reese Witherspoon movie a few years ago but returned to the kind of film which made him such a hot commodity in Hollywood; playing hardcore badasses with weird-ass accents.
Synopsis: Three brothers in Depression-era Virginia make a pretty good living bootlegging. It is a dangerous business but the brothers stick together and bribe their way into a pretty successful operation. It isn’t until a creepy federal agent makes his way into town that they decide not to pay the man and instead find themselves running from “the man”. The little bitch brother, played by asshole Shia LaBeouf, gets the rest of his family in trouble by gallivanting around town in a series of floppy hats trying to impress the really pale girl in town. What an idiot. Soon he brings on a hell-storm from the feds which leads to a pretty decent showdown.
Have I told you lately that I hate you: There may not be an actor working in film today whose work I hate more than Shia LaBeouf. You might think that Mark Wahlberg would take that award but even he has a few films which I enjoyed. Shia isn’t necessarily a bad actor, he is just so annoyingly bad at playing characters who are supposed to be good guys but instead I just want to see get run over by a 6M Series John Deere tractor. I can’t think of a single part in any film that would be better if played by Shia.
Tom Hardy aka Mumbles: Someone tell Tom to take the half-dozen marbles out of his mouth before he films the next scene. I could barely understand what the hell he was saying for most of the film. He might be able to live through gun shots and stabbings but there isn’t an iPhone on Earth that would recognize his voice.
Jason Clarke can’t catch a break: He keeps taking feature roles in action films (White House Down, the new Terminator, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Lawless) that only succeed in the amount of disappointment they produce. He was the most worthless Ex-Spec Ops guy in film history for WHD and while I still haven’t seen the new Terminator, I also haven’t heard many people raving about it.
The Best of the Best: My favorite things about this movie are Tom Hardy breaking fools down with brass knuckles, Guy Pearce’s performance as the federal agent, Gary Oldman shooting a Thompson machine gun, and Jessica Chastain naked. All of those things, however, are overshadowed by the rotten feeling I get when Shia LaBeouf and Dane Dehaan share the screen. Those two suck all the fun out of this movie.
The Verdict: As much as I wanted to like this movie I just couldn’t. I never expected it to be a balls-to-the-wall actioner but even the final showdown was crap in my eyes. I could have done without Shia and Jason Clarke and I can’t help but think that the final 10 minutes or so of the film were some of the worst I’ve ever experienced. Watch it if you’re a huge Tom Hardy or Guy Pearce fan but don’t expect it to be as good as the book or even the trailer.