If it's crap ... We'll tell you
The Great depression was a difficult time for millions of Americans from all facets of life. That coupled with prohibition forced what would have been average citizens into a life of crime. For many residents of Franklin County, Virginia that crime was bootlegging. The Bondurant family; consisting of Jack (Shia Lebeouf), Forrest (Tom Hardy), and Howard (Jason Clarke) are prime examples of just such people. They have their own still running that makes a decent amount of bootleg alcohol which they sell around town and in their restaurant. The town as a whole seems to ignore prohibition and even the police are purchasing the Bondurant's whiskey. Until one day Special Deputy Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce) is sent into the county by a corrupt government official with instructions to get all of the county's bootleggers to essentially pay protection money. The Bondurant family refuses and a feud breaks out between them and Deputy Rakes who has the law enforcement on his side.
I apologize if the plot outline I posted above is a little spotty, but to be a frank I am having trouble remembering much about this movie even though I saw it yesterday. Lawless was one of the movies I had been waiting for to come out because the trailer had me pumped. Fuck yeah I want to see a bad-ass prohibition era gangster movie with Tom Hardy and Guy Pearce! It's to bad that the movie itself is just so goddamn boring. Shia Lebeouf is the protagonist in this movie who is supposed to be the kind hearted young brother who is reluctant to be involved with criminal activities. Maybe his character would have worked if we were given any reason at all to side with him other than he doesn't want to kill, but he ends up just being an annoying little prick who complains all the time about not being taken seriously. Tom Hardy is the biggest disappointment in this movie as he doesn't do hardly any acting at all. He very clearly can not do a Virginian accent and just sort of mumbles all of his lines while keeping the same facial expression. For a movie that is rated R you would think the violence would be a bit more extreme, but except for maybe two shots this could have very easily been PG-13 if they removed the swearing and tits. There were a lot of moments this movie could have gotten better but it always just reverted to something generic and safe. Not only that but there was a moment in this movie where something happens that make no logical sense whatsoever and you're just supposed to roll with it. Twice.
They should have called this movie Aimless because by the end you find yourself thinking, "What was the point of all that?" Which is sad for a movie that had so much potential and a great cast. Jessica Chastain is a love interest for Tom Hardy who starts to seem like she is going to have an arc but it is just dropped by the end. Not only that but Gary Oldman only seems like he is going to be a big part of the finale but never shows up again. All in all I don't hate this movie but I can't see myself ever wanting to sit down and watch it again. Just missed opportunities is what Lawless ends up being and that is disappointing for a film I had such high hopes for. Maybe Gangster Squad will be better.