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Tom Hardy—Forget Bane, Embrace Bronson

By Z.S. Roe

As a kid, actors such as Mel Gibson, Bruce Willis, and Kurt Russell were the “Big Names” in Hollywood, and certainly played an important role in my cinematic upbringing.  But as I grew older I often wondered who would come to replace these A-listers.  Today, I’d like to take a look at one of my favourite actors who’s really starting to make a mark in Tinsel Town:  a British actor whose name is Edward Thomas Hardy.

The world, however, knows him simply as Tom Hardy.

Tom Hardy

Batman fans will recognize the name, as Hardy recently hit the big screen as Bane, the villain from July’s The Dark Knight Rises.  The trouble with Bane, however, was that 1) he was almost always wearing a mask (leaving Hardy nearly unrecognizable); and 2) the character was poorly written, which left Hardy with very little to do.  But don’t let that film fool you: Tom Hardy is a powerhouse of an actor, and one whose performances are not to be missed.  Let me convince you:

If there is one Tom Hardy movie you have to see, it is unquestionably the 2008 British Crime Film Bronson (directed by Drive’s Nicolas Winding Refn).  To say Hardy’s performance is electrifying would be something of an understatement.  Truly, you’ve likely never seen a move nor a performance quite like what you’ll find here.  The film tells the story (though slightly fictionalized) of Michael Gordon Peterson, one of the United Kingdom’s most dangerous criminals.  Check out the below trailer to see what I mean:

I don’t like sports, and so I don’t usually watch sports movies.  But I’d heard that the 2011 mixed martial arts sports drama Warrior (directed by Gavin O’Connor) was pretty good and that Nick Nolte had been nominated for an Academy Award for his performance in the film, and so I put it on my “Movies To Watch” list, and then completely forgot about it.  Looking over Tom Hardy’s film credits one day, I realized that he co-starred in Warrior, and my interest was immediately renewed.  The biggest surprise, though, was just how much I loved the movie.  And Hardy’s character?  He’s such a BAMF, and impossible not to love.  Seriously, see this movie!

Of the films still to come this year, Lawless, a prohibition-era western gangster movie, is the one I’m most looking forward to.  For one, it’s directed by John Hillcoat, the director of The Proposition and The Road—both great films in their own right.  For another, it’s co-starring Tom Hardy, and he looks all kinds of awesome here.  Sure, he’s done menacing before, but it’s a nuanced and layered menacing that we don’t often see in Hollywood films.  Check out the trailer below:

Opinion is a bi-monthly column of just that, my opinion. While opinions are like noses and everyone has one, mine are especially snotty. Please leave a comment or question—all opinions are welcome, and all contributions are greatly appreciated. If you like what you read here, please subscribe.


One thought on “Tom Hardy—Forget Bane, Embrace Bronson

  1. Whoa – is this even the same guy! I’ve heard nothing but great things about Tom Hardy from my co-workers at Dish, but I didn’t realize that he could act. Thank you for opening my eyes Z.S., and I will gladly take your suggestions. I’m definitely going to add these films to my Blockbuster @Home queue, and I’m sure I’ll be able to find others since their selection is rather large. Hardy is getting a lot of popularity and it seems that his acting certainly deserves it!

    Posted by Violet | August 24, 2012, 12:58 am

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