Capone loved the authentic toughness of LAWLESS and will take a Tommy gun to anyone who disagrees!!!
Hey everyone. Capone in Chicago here.
I'll be up front about this: Any film that centers on my chosen profession of bootlegging warms my heart something fierce. Although the real-life Bondurant gang of Franklin County were about running moonshine throughout southern Virginia (as opposed to my own practice of bringing Canadian whiskey into our fine nation), I admire their industrious spirit and their tenacity. Hell, the Capone name even comes up a couple of times in the movie LAWLESS, based on the author Matt Bondurant's novel "The Wettest County in the World," a fictionalized tale of his grandfather and his two brothers and their adventures during the country's darkest hour, known as Prohibition.
The word that kept popping into my head as I watched LAWLESS was "authentic." Despite some plot elements being fictionalized by either the author or screenwriter Nick Cave, the movie feels like an accurate account of the times, if not always the actual events. This period in Bondurant's family history simply weren't chronicled, so with only a few key moments of record, he built the connective tissue of the conflict between the Bondurant brothers and the crooked Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (a ferocious and twisted Guy Pearce), who was actually from the area and not Chicago, as the movie claims (even we don't build them quite as messed up as this version of Rakes).
Rakes is essentially looking for protection money, which most of the area bootleggers give up, with the exception of the Bondurants. As a result, Rakes declares full-on war against the brothers, led by the seemingly indestructible Forrest (Tom Hardy), Howard (Jason Clarke) and reckless Jack (a reborn Shia LaBeouf playing Matt's grandfather). Jack manages to get the family's smalltown distribution chain some much bigger exposure by getting into business with Chicago gangster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman). Unfortunately, that exposure makes the brothers a bigger target for Rakes, which turns a manageable beef into a bloody war.
Director John Hillcoat (THE PROPOSITION, THE ROAD) has a gift for adding depth and emotion to stories that might have been emptier in other hands. In LAWLESS, he paints a landscape that features real consequences to foolish business moves on Jack's part, or tragedy that comes as the result of Howard's drinking problem. There are levels to this tale that Hillcoat is not afraid to explore and, in some cases, destroy.
Like Hillcoat's other work, the supporting characters in LAWLESS do more than just act as highlights to the lead actors. They provide a real backbone to the story and provide a great deal of motivation. Jessica Chastain plays the mysterious Maggie, a former "dancer" from Chicago who has come to Franklin County for a quieter life and ends up working in the Bondurant filling station/restaurant and sweetly falls in with Forrest. Mia Wasikowska is sweet as Bertha, Jack's love interest who comes from a severely religious family and brakes all sorts of rules to spend time with this showy would-be gangster.
One of my favorite performances in LAWLESS comes from Dane DeHaan as Cricket, a sort of adopted younger brother to the Bondurants who also has a gift for rigging up moonshine stills and just about anything else mechanical. DeHaan made a real impact with me as the super-powered kid gone bad in CHRONICLE earlier this year, and as the troubled gay teen in the final season of HBO's "In Treatment." He's a gifted young actor with a limitless future ahead of him if he continues to be this smart about the roles that he takes.
Most people going into LAWLESS will be doing so to see the continued upward climb of Tom Hardy as a force of nature. As much of a badass as he is here, more often than not, he also provides a great deal of the comic relief in the film. Forrest's "dialogue" consists largely of grunts and groans, although we know exactly what he's taking about and how he feels about everything he's commenting on. I don't think Hardy smiles once in the movie, and the scenes in which Chastain is basically throwing herself at him are both charming and humorous because he is so nervous.
LAWLESS is both about building up the mythology around the Bondurants during this time and tearing it down, showing them as both the legends they were and the very flawed humans behind that legend. The violence hits hard, as it should, but there's enough of a compelling story in between the shoot-outs, stabbings, and other unpleasant behavior to make this one worth checking out this heightened, but always believable, story.
-- Steve Prokopy
Follow Me On Twitter
Readers Talkbackcomments powered by Disqus
+ Expand All
Aug. 31, 2012, noon CST
Hardy can do no wrong
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:02 p.m. CST
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:04 p.m. CST
That's the second week in a row that Capone has seemingly criticized a review of The Kidd's in the headline of one of his.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:06 p.m. CST
Very amusing. Enjoy your Syphilis.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:07 p.m. CST
Maybe I was getting expecting violence in the "PG-13 remake of an R film" fashion. Hardy's role would have been played by Vin Diesel ten years ago.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:15 p.m. CST
so disrespectful to the poor people of aurora. shame on you, capone. just kidding. fuck 'em.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:17 p.m. CST
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:25 p.m. CST
Since I've agreed with most of his reviews. Kidd just always seems to have sand in his vagina. Besides you don't bring a six shooter to a tommy gun fight.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:30 p.m. CST
by Quake II
Public Enemies was the last gangster movie I saw in the theater. The Proposition was great and The Road was the most depressing movie I've ever seen in my life. I didn't want to leave the house for a day after watching The Road.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:47 p.m. CST
tom hardy makes me want to see this. shia, however, is stopping me from going to see this in the theatre, really too bad he's in this.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:48 p.m. CST
And it will be the last one I ever read from Capone.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:49 p.m. CST
He's enthusiastic without Harry's drooling adoration. He's critical without being dour like the Kidd. Liked his review of Avengers, spot on.
Aug. 31, 2012, 12:50 p.m. CST
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:10 p.m. CST
I know you're trying to be cute or something but you've also given the talkback a new low. If anything ill ever happens to your family or friends, well fuck them too.
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:11 p.m. CST
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:14 p.m. CST
Jacks love story did not mesh well with the rest of the goings on and took too much time and attention away from the brothers and thier plight. Also a very underdeveloped script; whatever peril the brothers would have faced if they lost their franchise is never explored.
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:16 p.m. CST
Is criminally underused. He's in it for like 4 minutes.
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:20 p.m. CST
Is there like a bubble bath scene? That chick gives me SERIOUS WOOD.
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:33 p.m. CST
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:51 p.m. CST
by paul burnett
Aug. 31, 2012, 1:54 p.m. CST
I'm talking about some of the lamest shit on screen in years. Lamer than Stephen Moyer's accent on True Blood. Lame Lame Lame. That right there is enough to keep me out of the theater. Maybe I'll get it at redbox
Aug. 31, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST
I had a harder time understanding him in this with his redneck mumbling then I ever did as Bane. Still the movie is good until the final confrontation which is just silly. I don't blame Shia for it, I blame the script.
Aug. 31, 2012, 2:14 p.m. CST
has a few nice dresses but sadly fun sex scenes
Aug. 31, 2012, 2:15 p.m. CST
The DKR shooting may have damaged GS beyond repair.
Aug. 31, 2012, 2:17 p.m. CST
It was so bad, yet so good
Aug. 31, 2012, 2:43 p.m. CST
i loved it, it was ridiculous yet awesome. alas it was canceled. i believe it was 'too expensive' to sustain for the ratings it got. too bad.
Aug. 31, 2012, 3:34 p.m. CST
by albert comin
And will there be images?
Aug. 31, 2012, 4:23 p.m. CST
Overwought critical analysis posing as intellectualism. Since Krugman likes The Civil Wars, I'll link Capone as the Jewy bearded one of this feud.
Aug. 31, 2012, 4:24 p.m. CST
I guess 'The..duh--urr...Kidd' was negative in his review? I wouldn't know, because I WON'T READ THEM. He's a pretentious half-wit and a complete snooze. Please terminate with extreme prejudice. Until he's gone, do what I do: Don't click on any of his reviews, and avoid his articles if you can. Don't give him your clicks.
Aug. 31, 2012, 4:30 p.m. CST
Or in the Entertainment Weekly review.... Is he shitty in it or something?
Aug. 31, 2012, 5:35 p.m. CST
He's in it for 4 minutes. Talk about a cheat at the box office.
Aug. 31, 2012, 6 p.m. CST
by Erotic Oven
for those interested.
Aug. 31, 2012, 7:13 p.m. CST
except I might be slightly more enthusiastic. It's true Oldman is in the film for probably a total of 4 minutes. Somehow saying 5 seems like too much. But I thought he was great in it even still. Everyone was awesome. If there was a true ensemble award this cast would definitely win it. Guy Pearce however is the standout. He created an iconic role, imo.
Sept. 1, 2012, 3:24 a.m. CST
But it was still a good movie. Don't avoid it because of Shia, he did OK.
Sept. 1, 2012, 9:15 a.m. CST
"during the country's darkest hour" Sorry, but you've got to be kidding me. World War 2? The enslavement of African Americans? The Civil War
Jesus, not having booze might be the darkest hours for a lush or a wino, but for the country it was a blip. Useless, stupid hyperbole, Capone.
Sept. 1, 2012, 9:46 a.m. CST
Guy pierce in the dark knight trilogy somewhere, after all he did work with Nolan previous to that on Memento. hmmmm........
Sept. 1, 2012, 5:02 p.m. CST
Shit the beef rules! Don't understand the hate for shit the beef. He's a perfectly good beef shitter.
Sept. 1, 2012, 5:14 p.m. CST
look man you are shit the beef! This is beneath you! Now end this relentless pursuit to get your ass kicked more. There's a world out there that needs more beef shit!You need to shit more beef for the people. Now get back to the beef shitting at hand!
Sept. 2, 2012, 1:12 a.m. CST
That's the only good thing about the movie, otherwise it was pretty blah.
Sept. 2, 2012, 1:13 a.m. CST
Because he was only in it for like 2 minutes?? that sucked and was a let down.
Sept. 2, 2012, 1:04 p.m. CST
I think it's Hillcoat's best so far. It's a little rough around the edges but it makes up for it in other areas. Yeah Oldman's part was small but so what? He was great in it and he owned a couple of the more memorable scenes.
Sept. 2, 2012, 3:31 p.m. CST
I lol'd. Leave it to Cap One (named after the movie from the late 70's involving a faked moon landing, at least.. thats how its pronounced.. right?). And The Darkest Hour thing was so gloriously over the top. You gotta wonder what America's Finest Moment was... repeal?
Sept. 3, 2012, 12:25 a.m. CST
Less than 5 million over the course of the first 3 days.
Sept. 3, 2012, 8:29 a.m. CST
the shit kicked out of him for TF and Indy in this. Nice look of the flim, but stupid story. Might be true but if they had brains they would/should have teamed up with Banner/Comm Gordon for muscle.
Sept. 4, 2012, 11:20 a.m. CST
by D o o d
first of all, it's a slow movie. As much as I didn't like the movie, the slow parts were quite good. However, the violence is cartoony and to be quite honest, the story is just rubbish. There is no other way to put it.
Sept. 4, 2012, 2:11 p.m. CST
by Andrew Coleman
Mix in the mob wars because of booze and it's pretty bad. This movie is strong even with all its problems. Guy Pearce is just too good to miss. Chastain is fucking gorgeous and that's all that needs to be said about her. Problem is Shia stands out and is pretty bad in this.
- Darker ZORRO Reboot Finds its Writer! -- 208 total posts 4 posts
- AICN Legends: Quint chats up Kurt Russell about everything from Walt Disney to John Carpenter! -- 147 total posts 2 posts
- First clip from Jon Favreau's CHEF, premiering at SXSW! Favs vs. Twitter! -- 19 total posts 2 posts
- SXSW 2014: Jeremy Finds THAT GUY DICK MILLER A Warm, Worthy Tribute To A National Treasure! -- 8 total posts 2 posts
- Jeremy Returns With More Tales From The CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER Set! -- 74 total posts 1 post
- Learn What Happens Next On HBO’s GAME OF THRONES!! -- 77 total posts 1 post
- Will the sun come out tomorrow!?! The first trailer for the remake of ANNIE is here! -- 563 total posts 1 post
- Idris Elba to voice a great, big, bloody Bengal tiger by the name of Shere Khan in Jon Favreau's JUNGLE BOOK! -- 88 total posts 1 post
- New Trailer Has Arrived for LOCKE, Starring Tom Hardy! -- 41 total posts 1 post