Bronson… When one sees the character name on IMDB, one would naturally be quick to think of the late legendary actor Charles Bronson. This is not the case. But still, this movie is based on the life of prison inmate, Michael Peterson, who, at the age of 19, decided to make a name for himself and become one of Britain’s most violent criminals.
The movie more or less begins with us being introduced to Peterson, and along the way we see him take on the new name of Charlie Bronson.
Tom Hardy and director, Nicholas Winding Refn are the stars of the show here, taking the story of ‘Britain’s most violent prisoner‘ and twisting it into an explosion of style.
Tom Hardy plays Michael Peterson who was initially incarcerated for 7 years after robbing a Post Office but this sentence turned into a 34 year stretch after numerous cases of violence in prison. Of these 34 years 30 were spent in solitary confinement. In his short period outside he assumed the fighting name of Charles Bronson after the Death Wish star. It is his alter ego which dominates the film.
Hardy is magnificent, prowling around people almost growling, a hulking, brooding, unpredictable beast who almost doesn’t care what happens to him, preferring gaol where his is someone to the outside where he is no-one.
By the time the film ends we are unsure who to feel sorry for, lost in a world of hard lines and constant violence. A very interesting film that marks out Hardy and Refn as exciting talents in modern cinema.
Apart from the overuse of some of the most colorful metaphors known to man, I thoroughly enjoyed this movie… Twice.