Just two films in September:
First up, Lawless is a movie that follows a family of bootleggers in prohibition-era America. It captures the violent nature of the enterprise with style, and a little wit. The main cast put in great performances, with only Shia LaBeouf letting the side down with a fairly stock take on his character. Tom Hardy, however, delivers another excellent showing as the indestructable eldest brother. The whole thing looks fantastic, but the plot is very predictable, nothing will surprise you here. Probably the film’s biggest downfall is an entirely unnecessary and out-of-touch epilogue, that forces a happy ending in where none was needed. Very watchable. (See my Lawless Twitter review).
Finally, Dredd manages to bring the titular character to life in a way that his previous film can only dream of. Despite the obviously miniscule budget, the film deftly introduces the characters, setting and premise, before letting loose with some extremely gory scenes and full-on action set pieces. We’re left with no doubt as to why Judge Dredd is so uncompromising and harsh: he’s a product of a world where crime is so prevalent that almost none of it gets punished. It’s a fun movie and, while it won’t win any awards, it deserves to be seen. (See my Dredd Twitter review).
The winner is Dredd for showing what a well-written action film is capable of.