Lawless (2012)

Lawless (2 Out of 5 Graves)

I had such high hopes for this movie. I downloaded it and waited until my son and his friend were busy playing a game before getting a beer and sitting down in front of the television.

The movie starts out with the three brothers making a delivery run and immediately sets the gritty tone of the film. It is a rough world, and if you want to survive you need to be willing to get your hands dirty.

So what knocked the movie down to the “I probably won’t watch it again – even if I’m bored to death with nothing to do” category? It wasn’t the acting or the cinematography, it really came down to the core message of the movie being a bit too twisted. On the one hand it is supposed to be brutal and violent, which it is, but then every time you think someone is dead they pop back up in the next scene. It felt like I was watching one of those Saturday  morning Kung Fu movies where the main characters get run through a hundred times but keep on fighting. I get that to some extent that was part of the story, that the Bondurant family was supposed to be “hick legend” invincible. But they ruined it with the last scene of the movie. I just thought that was dumb the way they shatter that mythology which was built up through the whole rest of the movie.

The other major issue I had with the movie was what a p*ssy Shia’s Jack was. I get that he his physically smaller than his two brothers and maybe a bit mousy, but come on, let him progress a little as the movie goes. He wussed out each and every time he should have fought. It really killed the overall movie for me. I don’t mine my main character having to learn to be a killer, but don’t make him a Suzy for the whole movie. (Sorry Suzy)

The Good:

  • Tom Hardy was amazing as older brother Forrest. He made every scene he was in. 
  • Jason Clarke as the mildly psychotic brother was well cast. Jason has that look in his eyes that makes you wonder if he is really in control of himself. He didn’t play as large a part as Tom’s Forrest, but he was a greats supporting character I enjoyed watching.
  • Mia Wasikowska.  You can put her in amish clothes and she is still a smokin hot girl. There is just something about her face and eyes (pretty much all you see of her in this movie) that pulls you in. One of the most underrated hotties in hollywood.
  • The love story between Forrest and Maggie was touching. Forrest is played so well, he is simple yet complicated, and even though you know he has feeling for Maggie, he really can’t figure out how to act on them until she makes the first move. Would have been a great love story just because of that if they didn’t ruin it  with the dumb closing parts of the movie.
The Bad:
  • Shia didn’t have a great vehicle here. I know he doesn’t get to rewrite the script, but if I was him, I’d fire my agent. And I’d be screaming at him as I did it. “Don’t ever put such a p*ssy role in front of me again!!!” Come one, the Guy Pearce’s character beats the shit out of you and later you let him live?
  • Shia leaving behind Mia Wasikowska’s character Bertha during the raid on the still. Girls, if the guy leaves you behind to face the coppers, punch him in the nuts the next time you see him.