After seeing the trailer, I've been dying to see this movie since last Spring. I'm a sucker for insane lead character, particularly violent ones. And this trailer, and even the small bits you get to see of Tom Hardy's Bronson - had me excited.
It's actually part of Magnet's 6 Shooter Series - which contains six films I really want to see (the sixth being Neil Marshall's Centurion which was just added this week). So - good for you Magnet. Although I wish you could push these films at the theaters more.
When I opened the Netflix for Bronson I immediately realized I knew the director. Nicolas Winding Refn. An eastern european, he has directed a handful of films I've seen before - most notably Pusher, Pusher 2 and Pusher 3. So I thought it would take me on a dark ride like those.
Let me start by saying that my gut reaction to Hardy was dead-on. He is incredible. One of the best performances I've seen in a long time. He's like a tightly wound coil at all times - you never know when he is going to explode. A man of violence, but not filled with any hatred. He just happens to find his peace amidst violence. He says early on that prison felt like home to him because he was constantly on his toes. Ready for battle. And Hardy captures this brilliantly.
However, the film itself doesn't really go anywhere. It is more a character study devoid of any narrative. To be fair, Bronson (real name Michael Peterson) has spent the majority of his sentence in solitary. So, within the confines of prison there isn't much for him to do. Unlike a film such as Chopper, which existed in the outside world as well as prison. And for this reason it left me feeling disappointed. But look for some big things from Tom Hardy. And I will continue to look out of Nicolas Refn's work.