Tom Hardy plays Michael Peterson, aka Charles Bronson, aka “Britain’s most violent prisoner” in this throat-grabbing biopic of the misguided young man who was sentenced to 7 years in prison for robbing a post office and ended up spending 30 years in solitary confinement.
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Get a washing machine, fill it with broken glass, acid, dynamite, strobe lights, million watt sub-woofer and a mountain of cocaine; close the lid and put it on tumble dry. Then after 2 mins, open the lid and your head in the machine.
This is what the film is like, the even more autistic & anarchic heir to the throne of Kubrick, which is Nicholas Winding Refn, all hail the king & his prince Tom Hardy.. Who's Brian?
Hardy's acting is phenomenal, as is the narrative structure. But the soundtrack - the soundtrack of this film is the light of my life! I don't think I will ever be more impressed with any movie soundtrack ever again, compared to this, no soundtrack will ever again be satisfying.
This film is a madness an a breathtaking experience - the reason why I love the art of cinema. Everything fits perfectly, especially how the the visuals are cut to the music... and how Refn plays with its semantics.
0. What a horrendous filmmaker. Always bombastic and emphatic, demonstrative and explanatory, showing "talent" and "style" that actually redound in its self-redundancy. It seems to be much appreciated what is even in accordance with the noise for anything, absolutely anything and whatever, we live.
Refn's not much of a storyteller, dramatically, politically, or psychologically, and I don't put much stock in him as a stylist either: lots of tableaux that signify artiness without actually being a work of art. But Bronson has some brilliant moments, and Tom Hardy's performance electro-shocks them to life. Points deducted for an unsubtle gun-as-penis shot, and points added back for calling Charlton Heston a "cunt".
Tom Hardy was nothing short of a mesmerizing force of nature in this biopic that seems to be grounded more in feeling than in fact. I haven't been this scared of a performance since seeing Heath Ledger's Joker. This was such a clever and inventive movie that just seemed to float and bounce across a room, delivering like a brick through a plate glass whenever it bounced off something. Great stuff.
The style-as-substance doesn't work as masterfully here as it does in Drive, and it's not really "about" anything in the same way Valhalla Rising is, but it's still manically compelling enough to recommend as much as Refn's other films.
Superimposition after superimposition, Refn searches for the man within the man within the man. Performative and ostentatious, but in a satisfying psycho-sensual manner. A theatrical presence serves as a respite from the grittiness of creeping insanity and self-deprecation. 78/100 - Very Good