I suppose I wanted to like Bronson more than I did. I definitely got the impression it would be more violent and gruesome. More shocking in general. I feel like you get pretty standard fare for these movies. A lot of punching and bleeding. But I feel like I also wanted it to go a little further with the theatrics too. The movie clearly crosses the line between fantasy and reality. We're watching Bronson's brain on VIOLENCE. It doesn't wander too far from, I'm going to tell my story with face paint on every so often. So as a film, I was a little dissapointed. But jeez, Tom Hardy is the MAN in this movie. Refn clearly knows this too. There are so many shots of Hardy just staring, and it's AWESOME. He brings a great smoldering intensity. He's so absorbing, it almost takes away from the movie. It feels like just a showcase for Hardy, which like I said, is also when it works best. But then, when all is said and done, it doesn't exactly feel like it came to much. We just spent some time watching a violent man's fantasy/real life. Oh, and it's a silly movie. It's not Clockwork Orange or really many of the other comparisons. It never gets so wild, but it's certainly never boring either.
If you like looking at this man stare at you, well, you'll dig the movie.