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Movie Breakdown: Lawless (Noah)

August 29, 2012

Film

People are doing traditional-style reviews all over the web, so we decided to try something different.  In each “breakdown” we’ll take a look at what a film’s marketing led us to believe, how the movie actually played, and then what we learned from it all.  Read on!

The Impression:

No other film this summer speaks to me more than John Hillcoat’s Lawless, a period piece about bootleggers at war stocked with some of the best youngish actors working right now. I’ve been dying to see this film all summer.

The Reality:

Abject disappointment. I wish I could say that this film was bad just because it didn’t live up to the promise of a period piece directed by the man behind The Proposition, starring eternally menacing Tom Hardy, best-actor-currently-working Gary Oldham, ginger bombshell Jessica Chastain, and the-only-living-character actor Guy Pierce and with trailers that promised terrible bloodshed and intensity. Instead, Lawless is a weak-willed shit show derailed by an aimless script and a bevy of characters with no development and nothing to do. It’s as if someone took a nasty nasty, violent film about men doing bad things, broke it in to individual scenes, dumped those scenes in to a hat, and then tossed them on to the screen willy-nilly. I could heap a gleaming pile of fuck yous on this film, but instead I’m just going to write this off as some terrible, alternate-reality mistake and hope that the next time this many amazing things come together, it works, and well.

The Lesson:

Expectations are for suckers. And I, I am a sucker.

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