Bronson (2008)

Bronson (2009) – Two films in, I have yet to make up my mind about Nicolas Winding Refn. I rather liked Drive but its flaws kept me from gushing about it as much as some people have. Bronson is a different animal altogether. If Drive is Refn aping the style of Michael Mann, then Bronson is his Stanley Kubrick flick. There is a detachment and coldness to this film that is certainly Kubrickian. Also Tom Hardy’s larger-than-life performance in the title role is somewhat reminiscent of Malcom McDowell in Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. Hardy plays Michael Petersen, a young English man with a propensity towards violence. This lands him in prison eventually where he continues to be extremely violent, to the point where it’s presenting a serious problem for the British penal system. During a brief period in which he isn’t in prison, he becomes a fighter and takes the name of action movie star Charles Bronson, of Death Wish fame. That sort of distancing effect that Kubrick used to such great effect in his films, however, just resulted in me not being all that interested in this one. It’s an interesting enough story (and a true one) and Hardy really is electrifying in the role but I just didn’t care about this one. It’s always very frustrating to me when I like elements of a movie but don’t care for the movie as a whole and can’t articulate why (which I guess means this review isn’t very helpful, not helped by my writing it a month after watching the flick in question). There’s enough of value in Bronson that I can say that people of slightly different tastes than mine may actually quite enjoy it (judging by the film’s reputation, many such people exists) but it just left me cold. Take that for what you will.

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