Three Imaginary Girls

Seattle's Indie-Pop Press – Music Reviews, Film Reviews, and Big Fun

{Lawless opens in Seattle today, 8/29, and is screening at Sundance Cinemas Seattle, AMC Loews Oak Tree, and Regal Meridian 16}

Lawless is basically a tale of Badass Vs. Badass, with some additional Badasses thrown in for good measure. There are a lot of fists meeting faces, shooting, stabbings, blowing things up, and other assorted violence—complete with old-timey car chases (which are kind of hilarious because cars just didn’t move that fast in the 1930s). 

The story centers on the “true” tale of the Bondurant Brothers, who bootlegged moonshine in rural Virginia during the Depression. The two oldest are the badasses, with Tom Hardy as Forrest being the BIGGEST (and handsomest-RAWR) Badass, brother Howard (Jason Clarke) coming in at a close second, and wee baby-faced Jack (Shia LeBeouf)…well, as a badass, he fails. miserably. 

Sadly, even though Forrest is the strongest character, the film starts and ends from Jack’s perspective — and includes some probably unnecessary narration. Moonshine-ing is going just dandy for the brothers until two pivotal things happen:

1) ultra-creepy Special Agent Charlie Rakes (Guy Pearce. You look weird without eyebrows. Seriously. Weird) shows up and tries to shake them down
2) in one of his stupider moments, Jack decides he wants to be just like slick gangster Floyd Banner (Gary Oldman in a token Badass appearance) which leads to a lot more problems than the Bondurants previously had

I know everybody either loves or hates Shia; I personally used to love him (pre-Transformers), and now—not so much. But not liking him works just here, because Jack is a pretty unlikable character. He’s young and stupid, and he fucks up. A lot. And that causes MAJOR problems for his totally awesomely Badass brothers.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter because the rest of the casting is absolutely perfect. Particularly Hardy—like, I cannot explain accurately just how awesome he is in this film. It’s AMAZING—and beautiful Jessica Chastain as Maggie Beauford, a former dancer who runs from the big city to live a “quieter” life. OOPS.

Pearce also plays his villainy to extreme levels of awesome with an unsettling drawl, ever-present leather gloves, and drenched-in-ten-gallons-of-oil hair. And I don’t ever want to know what the hell he was doing in that hotel room with that naked woman and all that powder…

Sorry, got lost in some shivers. *eeesh*

The script strays away from the main action a little too long in some parts, and I’m not sure the epilogue needed to be as long as it was, but overall this is a fine film. I definitely recommend, and I think when the blu-Ray is released it’ll make a nice companion piece to Public Enemies