Bronson (2008)

If you thought you were a tough S.O.B, think again!

Charlie Bronson (Tom Hardy) — who’s been jailed for nearly 35 years — attempts to dissect the real man behind the deranged persona. While Bronson’s primary ambition was to be famous, he became a celebrity of sorts as a criminal who seized myriad opportunities to demonstrate extreme and terrorizing savagery.

There is actually a Charlie Bronson out there, who is still in jail, kicking ass, and not finding a boyfriend. I was so interested on knowing who, and what this guy was really like until, I actually saw this film.

My main problem with this film is that we don’t get any insight into this character at all. We see him beat the shit out of everybody he meets, but why is the real question. That answer never comes, and I could tell that the film just turns up the bad-ass here, in attempt to actually get our minds off the fact that their not actually telling us a real story.

Another problem with this film was that it’s pacing is what takes this down from being a totally gripping piece of work. Even though this theatrical narration was weaved throughout the entire film, it still felt a little disconnected, almost like it had no real flow at all. Once you get over that minimal length of what a movie needs to be, it just feels like it could end with any of the scenes you’re watching.

However, I must say this film does do a good job as well. I liked the whole narration, where he talks to nameless audience inside his head, because it provided a lot of comedy over the real disturbing happenings in this film. There are also plenty of scenes where Bronson is just kicking the total crap out of guys, and I must say they are all pretty entertaining to watch, especially if you love anarchy.

Bronson himself is such a great character because he’s so unabashedly violent and horrifying, but by the same time you can’t help but actually like him and be him. Tom Hardy totally takes this role as Charlie Bronson, and absolutely makes him that total bad-ass that we hear about, as well as look the part of one scary mofo. I don’t know how Hardy did it, but he really got himself in total shape with this to the point of where I was scared of him. It was hard for me to take my eyes off of him because every scene he has, he just demands, and just seems like the guy that will kick your ass in a second. If I honestly had anything bad to say about Tom Hardy, I wouldn’t because I would be too afraid that he may actually come to my house and punch me in the throat.

Consensus: Tom Hardy’s performance is purely amazing, and there are a lot of awesome ass-kicking scenes, but the script fails at actually being a story, or giving any insight into a real-life person I would have loved to know so much more about.



  1. Dude! Great review. I wanted to love this film cuz of Hardy’s performance. But Bronson’s motivation is unclear and it becomes an exercise in arty film-making with no real spirit or conviction of human passion.

  2. hey,yoo, such great review by you, i agree that the script was failed to explore who is Bronson exactly, cause it was too much teatherical, less information about real-life of Bronson, but i loved how this film works, art-film, remarkable Hardy’s performance, the character is so much like Alex DeLarge in A Clockwork Orange, and also Kubrick’s style film, however loved Hardy here..

  3. Nice review! For me though Hardy’s performance and the shit-kicking scenes presented the way they are is more than enough to keep me engaged. I loved it.

    And it has the line “Magic? You just pissed on a gypsy in the middle of fucking nowhere.”


  4. I loved Hardy’s performance, was really amazing and I must say that’s the only thing I remember about it. You could really see he had fun making this movie and despite the seriousness of it all he also gave Bronson a charm although you know he’s actually a monster that can’t be handled. It was a fascinating watch, although like you say it’s a rental.

  5. I feel compelled to disagree with you on this I’m afraid. I think there is far more insight in Bronson than you get from say Chopper, a film that it is lazily and innapropriately compared to all too often.

    There is enough information about Bronson’s life to give you a good sense of the social situation from which he came but I think Refn’s angle is that it is of little consequence to his behaviour. As a film maker he clearly has a fascination with the darkly violent nature of mankind and the folly of trying to repress it or label it as dysfunction or mental illness. Refn’s follow up feature, the existential Viking crusade epic Valhalla Rising stands as further testimony to this.

    Rather than serve up a glib account of Bronson’s life with a “see, he turned out this way because he had a hard life”, black and white, oversimplified moral message he has chosen instead to look at nature over nurture and ask the really difficult question i.e. that perhaps he’s the way he is because that is simply the way he is and that perhaps it’s a purer, more instinctive state of being.

    I like the fragmented narrative and theatrical feel, I couldn’t help but feel it could easily be adapted for the stage and made the film much more personal. Admittedly this unconvential approach is not for everyone and I can perfectly understand why people might find it distracting or feel it slows the pace, I happen to disagree.

  6. Great review. I agree whole-heartedly with you. I wanted to really like this movie due to Hardy’s performance, but in the end I didn’t care for it. And it was almost boring in some ways.

    Hardy was absolutely brilliant in the role. This is what made me respect his ability as an actor. The movie itself, though, falters in areas and is just weak overall.

  7. Ha, I just finished watching this about an hour ago. I wasn’t that impressed by it, but I did like Nicolas Winding Refn’s style and of course, Tom Hardy’s performance. He was absolutely brilliant in it.

    I wish we did find out a lot more about Bronson, because it would have done so much for this film. Oh well. Nice review!

  8. Wow, I’m in totally agreement with you on this movie (I just watched it yesterday). Tom Hardy was amazing. The story needed a bit more character development. Nice review, man.

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