February 14, 2011
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Most people discovered Tom Hardy this past year in the brilliant Inception, but he has been around for a while. He was in the forgotten Star Trek: Nemesis, bit parts in many British films, and Bronson. And with Bronson, Hardy steps out as an actor of pure tenacity.
Hardy plays Michael Peterson, a petty criminal who becomes Britain’s most violent criminal. The film follows Michael Peterson as he transforms into Charles Bronson, his fighting name. He wasn’t raised by poor parenting, but none the less he finds violence becomes a part of him. Searching his name on Wikipedia or Google will yield some of his greatest hits, and they were indeed brilliant in its maniacal grandeur.
Hardy disappears into the role. In this film, he doesn’t just train his voice for the role, but every part of his body responds as it should for the real Bronson. In one particular scene, Bronson threatens a lowly prison worker. His quick hostage dissolves into him stripping naked, rubbing body paint all over himself, and taking on 5 guards in the buff. Despite his obvious disadvantage, he holds his own against the guards longer than expected. This character is pure bad-ass. A character who is so hardcore that it frightens you. And Hardy and director Nicholas Winding Refn expertly convey the lunacy of this real person. A bio pic that’s The Shawshank Redemption crossed with Natural Born Killers. A great film and the arrival of Tom Hardy. Highly recommended for action fans or fans of gritty British crime films. 3.5 out of 5 stars.