Following the success of The Proposition (2005), Nick Cave turns to director John Hillcoat to bring his equally harrowing tale to the screen. Away from Australian outback and into 1920s America, Lawless follows the true tale of bootlegging brothers. This dark story is more than your simple gangster blockbuster – with Hillcoat reproducing many ideologies that were present in The Proposition; presenting an outlaw hero and toying with very un-Hollywood ultra-violence.
Having already worked with some of the biggest names available, Hillcoat was always more than capable of bringing the best out of Lawless’ A-list cast. Completing a hat-trick of partnerships with Guy Pearce, he casts him as the vile, grease slickened special agent from Chicago. Similarly to Winstone’s Captain Stanley in The Proposition, Pearce’s Charlie Rakes, and most of the British colonials on their conquest of the frontier in westward expansion, share unorthodox methods in ridding the new country of law-breaking citizens. However, Rakes’ over the top hands on approach and the film’s approving display of the outlaws causes him to become the intrusive villain.
At the head of the Bondurant Brothers is Forrest. Tom Hardy’s cardigan covered performance excellently captures the hefty hillbilly, displaying his usual calm, quiet and grunting nature alongside the powerful explosions of his true force; as Hardy’s physique still boasts the hulk-like appearance of Bane.
Lawless is a refreshing piece of work from Hollywood. Its bold choice to allow Hillcoat to create such an expensive film branded with an audience restricting 18 certificate, delivers a far more satisfying picture for the paying cinemagoers.
Tags: Action, Bodurant, Bootlegging, Brothers, Crime, Dane DeHaan, Depression era, Drama, Floyd Banner, Forrest, Gang, Gangster, Gary Oldman, Guy Pearce, Jason Clarke, Jessica Chastain, John Hillcoat, Lawless, Mia Wasikowaska, Nick Cave, Prohibition, Shia LaBeouf, The Proposition, Thriller, Tom Hardy, Virginia