(ORIGINALLY POSTED ON THE HEEL PICTURES FACEBOOK PAGE - 20/10/2012)
CUT TO: Written reviews.
I first watched Bronson not so long ago as a fellow Heel Pictures member strongly recommended it to me as it is his favourite film, and before I start critiquing this movie, I will say now I didn’t think this would be anything too special, and when I finished watching it, I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it.
Lets start with the acting in this film, well obviously Tom Hardy came out guns blazing with his break-out role as his portrayal as Michael Peterson AKA Charles Bronson, he is truly a dedicated actor, and this film shows it, he actually visited Charles Bronson in prison to try to be as accurate to the role as possible, and from what I understand, he was spot on, and the scenes when Tom Hardy was delivering a monologue to a theatre audience was just an acting marvel to watch. Now on to the other actors… well… as this was Tom Hardy’s break-out performance and it was based all around his character, the other actors didn’t stand out too much, and I wasn’t expecting them to be amazing like Tom Hardy was, but I feel the other actors didn’t but they're all into their roles, and seemed to think to themselves that since ‘Tom Hardy was going to steal the show, we shouldn’t try to be fantastic’. It may sound like I am really hating on the actors, I’m not, I just feel they were good, but not as good as they could have been.
Now I’ll get to the directing, as this is also Nicolas Winding Refn’s break-out film, so you would think that he would of done an amazing job directing the film just like Tom Hardy did an amazing job in his break-out role, the answer is, he did a really good job directing this film, I don’t think it was anything special, but I feel he made the mark he was hoping to make, he made Charles Bronson seem like a caring man who was misunderstood (even though most of that might have been because of Hardy’s performance), but I feel that Refn gave England a very distinctive look and feel, It seems like if Billy Elliot England met David Fincher, and that would be what Refn did to Britain in this film. I feel the strongest part of NWR direction was the fight scenes, wow, now this is how a fight scene should be done in these type of films, no shaky-cam, slow-mo used when needed, and the way each punch and kick was synced up to the classical music playing in the background was a brilliant touch.
What I also really enjoyed about the film was how you saw Michael Peterson become his alter-ego Charles Bronson right from the day he was born, so you got to really bond with this character, and another strong part in the film is when Michael Peterson, the kind-hearted violent misunderstood prisoner, became Charles Bronson, you saw a change in him, he became more brutal and violent, but still had that likeable charm to him that only could be done with brilliant directing and even better acting. One thing I though the film didn’t benefit from is that it was too short, the film is only 92 minuets long, and for a film based around 34+ years, I felt if we could have shown more, that would have made this film even better, but it still it doesn’t make it a bad film, I just feel it could of benefitted if it extended the runtime.
Jaw-dropping performance by Tom Hardy and excellent directing and writing skills by NWR, but unfortunately has just good acting by the supporting cast, but is an interesting film to watch if you want to know about ‘Britain’s Most Dangerous Prisoner’.