Friday, March 1, 2013

Movie Review - Bronson (2008)

The infamous Charles Bronson of Britain is stylishly captured in this film with a barrage of fists and dark humor.  Often referred to as the "most violent prisoner in Britain", Charlie is the personification of the bare knuckled fighting boxers of the pastNicolas Winding Refn, known better for Drive, collaborates with a superb Tom Hardy in delivering the portrait of a man who loves to fight with his bare hands.

Charles Bronson (born Michael Gordon Peterson) has spent the vast majority of his life as a prisoner.  The irony of the situation is that Bronson only experiences his freedom in the midst of a brawl and the attention received from it, which made the prison system an ideal place to live.  Even more amusing is the amount of methods the British government exhausts to "treat" Bronson of his tendencies and horribly failing.  

Early on in production, Jason Stratham was asked to play the lead but had to drop out due to scheduling conflicts.  Hardy went on to take the role, speaking and meeting with the real Bronson for preparation (Bronson is still currently incarcerated).  Hardy also built his body up, adding 42 pounds and able to sustain 2500 push ups a day for five weeks.    Bronson said he was impressed with how well Hardy mimicked his behavior as well as matching his physical presence.  He concluded that Tom was the only actor who could have played him, and personally shaved his own mustache off for Hardy to use in the film.

 Bronson is currently available for stream on Netflix and Amazon Prime

Runtime: 92 min.
Rated R for violent and disturbing content, graphic nudity, sexuality and language


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