Category Action , Epic/Historic
Year: 2012
Time: 116 minutes
Production: Benaroya Pictures
Director: John Hillcoat
Tom Hardy, Shia LaBeouf, Guy Pearce, Jason Clarke, Gary Oldman, Jessica Chastain
Our Rating 4/10 - I expected something like 'Last Man Standing' ... I was wrong.
Watchability 4/10 - At least the era's a little different from the usual stuff

The Bondurant boys are infamous across Franklin County, Virginia for their good quality moonshine during the Prohibition Era, and the legend that follows the supposed invincibility of Forrest Bondurant (Tom Hardy) after a number of life-threatening diseases and accidents.

Their small-time business is soon threatened by the arrival of Special Deputy Charles Rakes (Guy Pearce) from Chicago who wants a cut of the profits. With the boys unwilling to pay, a war is about to begin in the mountains of Franklin County.

So, how does it end?

The money is soon flowing since Jack has negotiated deals with local gangster Floyd Banner at $5 a piece. Cricket has fitted out the Ford so they can outrun the police, while the brothers have invested in a mountain hideaway to produce the booze.

Jack uses his new wealth to impress the Preacher's daughter and buys her a new dress. Unaware he is being followed by Rakes, he then takes Bertha to the secet factory to show her around.

Howard bellows a warning as the Deputy and his men show. Jack manages to get the jump on Rakes, but can't pull the trigger and instead uses his boot to scratch his face. As the two brothers escape, Rakes is incensed. The cops managed to catch Cricket and Bertha, and Rakes leads little Cricket away before breaking his neck.

Word reaches the brothers and Jack takes full responsibility. The old sheriff shows up to tell them that Rakes has gone too far and he wants no part of it, but they won't listen.

Jack makes off in the old car. Howard yells for Forrest to join him and give chase.

Meanwhile Forrest finds out from Maggie that he didn't walk 20 miles to the hospital on the night his throat was slashed, but instead she showed up and drove him there. He asked what the men did to her. She lies, but he knows the truth now. She begs him not to go after Rakes.

Jack drives to the old bridge and gets out the car with a shotgun. Rakes shoots him in the side. Soon Forrest, Howard and some random dude show up firing. Everyone conveniently misses for a good five minutes - until the random driver gets hit a few times.

Forrest drags Jack to safety, but Rakes manages to shoot him in the shoulder.

The other bootleggers show up on the scene and there's a stand-off.

Forrest gets up and goes for Rakes, but is shot repeatedly in the chest. Rakes is about to finish him off, when the old sheriff wisely shoots the Special Deputy in the leg to prevent a full-on war.

Rakes turns around and, rather than get in a car, decides to hobble over the bridge and the odd mile or two to the local town. Jack hobbles after him and (I preferred this bit in 21 Jump Street) finally summons up the courage to shoot him.  It's all quite tame, until Howard shows up and stabs the corrupt cop in the back. He dies, but again it's not all that satisfying an end. Where is Floyd Banner when you need him to exact some revenge?!

Later, all 3 brothers are in a house with their families. Jack tells us that the moonshine business ended when Prohibition was over. Howard got a proper job and was the first to marry. Forrest secretly wed Maggie, while Jack married the Preacher's daughter. They all have a few kids each and have lived happily since.

That night Forrest gets drunk and stumbles down to a local frozen lake - and falls in. He climbs back out again, but the invincible Forrest Bondurant who survived Spanish Flu, multiple gunshots and a sliced-open neck is soon to die of pneumonia.


I know you've got to keep true to the book - but what really was the point of Gary Oldman's character in this?  Seems similar to old Bob De Niro in Goodfellas where it just takes away screentime from the main characters.  Ok, rant over.

No, wait -- if there's any doubt as to whether Tom Hardy, Christopher Nolan or the Prop man messed up in The Dark Knight Rises .. then it's been answered. Tom Hardy needs to pick up his work on accents.

7.13/10 ( 8 Votes )
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