3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A central performance demanding a better film,
This review is from: Bronson [DVD] (DVD)
Let's just ignore any notion of hand-wringing about the central subject of Bronson, as that gets in the way of looking at the film with any kind of objectivity. Instead, let's just ask a very important question: is it any good?
There is one thing the film does have going for it, and that's Tom Hardy's central performance. He put in a lot of work at the gym to get in shape, and he does put in a very watchable performance that captures the characteristics of the real-life Bronson, so he deserves kudos for giving it his all and doing a very good job.
The problem is, however, the film around him fails or, to put it another way, it gets monotonous very, very quickly. The film has, in essence, three scenes: Bronson's talking head, Bronson in prison beating up guards/being beaten up by guards, Bronson on stage addressing an audience. Repeat for 92 minutes, and that's what you have.
And it's the third of these scenes which brings the film down rapidly: what could be an interesting stream of consciousness; filling in the gaps between one sequence and another, just comes across as pretentious and, with the constant repetition, becomes quite irritating very quickly indeed.
By keeping the focus solely on Bronson ends up being the thing that ruins the film, as the direction doesn't quite know what to do with him: the idea of him being an ultraviolent performance artist could be a good one if handled correctly, but instead it is handled very poorly and wastes Hardy's performance in the other sequences. And, frankly, the film also becomes one-dimensional very quickly because too much emphasis is put on these scenes, when in actual fact the real story is being pushed aside along with what few strengths the film has going for it.