Classic Review – Bronson (2008)

Bronson - Tom hardy

Title – Bronson (2008)

Director – Nicolas Winding Refn (Only God Forgives)

Cast – Tom Hardy, Matt King, Jonny Phillips

Plot – Michael Peterson aka Charles Bronson (Hardy) is a petty criminal who wants nothing more than to be famous. He finds this opportunity by becoming Britain’s most notorious prisoner through a range of various incidents that will etch his name into the history books.

“You shouldn’t mess with boys that are bigger than you”

Review by Eddie on 17/08/2016

I’m quite positive that Bronson, a cult favourite and star making vehicle for now superstar Tom Hardy, is a film impossible to properly categorise, as one of a kind director Nicolas Winding Refn delivers a biopic of “Britain’s most famous criminal” in a manner that has never been seen before and unlikely to be seen again and for that, we can be entirely thankful.

Bronson is a bizarre, brutal and often brazenly hilarious oddball event that allowed the at the time largely unknown talents of Hardy to shine in a performance that allowed the hulking performer to dominate the large majority of the films scenes with an embodiment of the mentally unhinged criminal Michael Peterson (later known by the moniker Charles Bronson) that goes from face painted entertainer, bare knuckled fighter to nude painter in the space of mere minutes of runtime and it’s absolutely one of the modern era’s most energetic singular performances.

Hardy along with Refn explore Bronson’s unhinged psyche and give the audience a first-hand experience into the mind of a man whose great desire was to be famous and be worth something and found the way to achieve these things by becoming a consistent member of various prisons and mental hospitals around the U.K and loved every minute of it.

Bronson’s the type of film that could’ve been a dour and seriously toned examination of the man but in the hands of these two talents Bronson is against all the odds an entertaining dark comedy that calls to mind the Australian crime classic Chopper but without question Bronson’s greatest asset outside of Hardy’s can’t look away turn and Refn’s inventive direction is the fact it really truly is its own beast, marching to its very unfamiliar beat of the drum.

Not for everyone and not exactly easy to determine the truth from falsities, Bronson is a unique tressure of a film thats quintessential viewing for the many fans Hardy now has and the admirers of Refn’s up and down works and its likely a lot of viewers of this bizarre tale will be hoping that the pairing up of these two wild minds isn’t a one off event.

4 hospital dance nights out of 5

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15 responses to “Classic Review – Bronson (2008)

  1. Great write up! I will definitely have to watch this again. The first (and only) time I watched this, I felt it was such a mixed bag. There was a lot of good stuff, but there was also stuff I didn’t like. Hardy was brilliant though, that is undeniable. Probably definitely time for a rewatch.

  2. Nice review. This was a movie I wanted to hate but found strangely compelling. And not just because of that counter-intuitive human fascination with criminals. It was just unlike any film I’d seen before. I expect if I saw a true to life depiction of the real Bronson’s life, I wouldn’t like it much, but that is not what this is. this is a fantasy theme park ride through a caricature, a comic book version of someone’s life. Not to be taken too seriously. And for some reason it just worked really well. It wasn’t ridiculous, there were some truly dark and disturbing moments, but the dark.hunorous mix offset with the well selected music just made for a film that sucked you right in and made you want to be in prison. Wait, what?
    I think it owed a hell of a lot to Chopper though they are two very different films. I have to wonder if Bronson would ever have been made if it weren’t for Chopper. I think Chopper has the edge for me. Eric Bana owned that role. Same deal too – I think the real guy was a self serving lying scumbag but after waching that I wanted to BE him. That’s some tasty film making.
    I heard a funny story from Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle – he had to be taken off the set of a panel show he was filming with a suspected heart attack. After they examined him, it turned out it was just a torn pecoral muscle – he’d seen Bronson the night before and was so taken by it he decided he was going to get “prison fit” and did a stupid amount of press ups! That sums up the power of the moive I think!!!

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