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