Set in the 1930′s , Lawless is a biographical drama that follows the life of the Bondurant brother’s. During the prohibition era, Forrest (Tom Hardy) , Howard (Jason Clarke) and Jack (Shia LaBeouf) are known locally as invincible, so as they distribute illegal alcohol within the state they come across no problems with the local authority. However, when Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) comes to town, a crackdown on all the prohibited distilleries is enforced thus causing a severe business problem for the Bondurants.
Lawless is a gripping tale, with a screenplay that gets into full swing from the start. Sadly, the script comes without any impressive set pieces, but that’s not to say the included set pieces aren’t thrilling. The all star cast somewhat causes problems, as the focus is never pinpointed onto Tom Hardy or Shia LaBeouf acting as if there are two protagonists. The first half is Hardy’s spotlight, only shifting quickly to Shia’s character at the latte half. Although this isn’t too disrupting, the final events become relatively emotionless.
Lawless is a gritty, dark and an enthralling piece of cinema. It’s far from perfect, and disappointing in places, foremost with the lack of screen time for Gary Oldman’s successful gangster character who easily could have acted as a mentor for the young lad Jack. It’s certainly a good success story though, and that’s what I love to see at the cinema. I doubt it will be a film remembered by many, but perhaps it will get some recognition during award season.