‘Lawless’ Gives Tom Hardy A Chance To Shine Despite Bland Plot, Critics Say

Lawless comes just a few months after actor Tom Hardy broke out with his derange, metal-faced portrayal of villain Bane in the movie The Dark Knight Rises, but those who see the 1920s gangland drama can expect to see a very different side to the British star.

Hardy’s performance in Lawless gives him a chance to let his action chops shine, EW.com reported, as he plays the leader of a family of bootleggers in the hills of Virginia.

The movie is set a few years into Prohibition, with the government tightening down on the alcohol bootlegging operation led by Tom Hardy‘s character, Forrest Bondurant.

Though Lawless has a lot of action in its own right, it gives Tom Hardy a chance to show audiences a very different side, EW.com notes. The review states:

“Taking this stand means he’s going to face an army of goons, and Hardy, speaking in low, flat, almost musically macho tones, has the bruiser charisma of a caveman Kevin Costner. It’s not the money he’s clinging to — it’s the freedom.”

The movie is actually closer to a Western, with Tom Hardy playing the role of the loner guarding his turf against corrupt invaders.

Not all aspects of Lawless are as interesting as Hardy’s performance, critics note. A plotline surrounding Shia LeBouf’s character is “stuffy and derivative,” EW.com notes.

The Los Angeles Times was also critical of Lawless, stating:

“For a movie about moonshine, something so imaginatively made, mood-altering and once violently sought-after, it goes down way too blandly.”

Slate also noted that even with a solid cast, something feels off about the movie:

“But despite a (mainly) gifted cast and a gorgeously photographed period setting, Lawless never quite attains the mythic grandeur it seeks. There’s something at the movie’s heart that remains flimsy and inauthentic, a kid in his older brother’s ill-fitting shoes.”