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Tag: Tom Hardy

Editorials

The Best Performances of Tom Hardy

May 13, 2020
tom hardy [Source: Newsweek]

He has been compared with Brando and called one of the best actors of his generation, there’s pretty much no one like Tom Hardy. While best known for his tough-guy roles he has shown that he’s more than capable of taking on more intimate projects and pays a lot of attention to his craft. Frequently changing his voice and body and to suit his parts, and his natural charisma makes him compulsively watchable. And with his latest movie Capone coming out soon I am going to look back at Tom Hardy’s 5 best roles. And explain what makes these performances stand out from the rest of his work.

Stuart Clive Shorter – Stuart: A Life Backwards

Stuart provides a blueprint for what Tom Hardy would later do with many of his roles. Focusing on every aspect of his performance he reportedly losing nearly 30 pounds for the role; adopted a limp and a slurred voice to play the titular “homeless, sociopathic, junkie“. There’s something brutally honest about Hardy’s portrayal of Stuart. He doesn’t feel Hollywoodized, he feels like a real person. The script also requires Hardy to go to a lot of different places. This results in him being equal parts scary, charming, funny, and disturbing but Hardy pulls it off flawlessly. In lesser hands, Stuart could’ve simply been a one-note sympathy card. But Hardy makes Stuart into a complex, intriguing, and tragic character. For his efforts, Hardy received a BAFTA nomination for Best Actor.

Tom Hardy in Stuart: A Life Backwards
Tom Hardy in Stuart: A Life Backwards [Source: Telegraph]

Eames – Inception

Despite working with many great directors throughout his career Christopher Nolan is the director that always gets the best out of Hardy. Unlike many of his other roles here Hardy retains his regular voice and isn’t the center of attention, playing as part of an ensemble cast but he still manages to make a great impression. As Eames, a conman recruited to impersonate people within a dream (essentially riffing on Hardy’s chameleon-like acting persona) Hardy is very fun, bouncing off the other members of the cast with his deadpan humor and effortless charm. This movie proved that Hardy wasn’t just an actor but a movie star too.

Eames in Inception
Eames in Inception [Source: IMDb]

Bane – The Dark Knight Rises

Hardy’s most iconic role is perhaps the best encapsulation of him as an actor. He’s more than willing to change his body for his craft (the hulking behemoth of Bane is a world away from Eames and Stuart physically). He likes to experiment with his accents to give his characters a different feel (here Bane has a calm, vaguely Irish/Scottish voice that effectively contrasts with his savage and intimidating actions). He pays incredible attention to his physical performance (despite having his face covered for almost the entire movie we’re always aware of what Bane is thinking and feeling because of Hardy’s great use of body and facial language). And no matter what he’s doing it’s always utterly captivating. The result is a villain unlike any other.

Bane in The Dark Knight Rises
Bane in The Dark Knight Rises [Source: Indian Express]

Ivan Locke – Locke

After the action extravaganza of The Dark Knight Rises Hardy made a return to more low-key dramas. Hardy plays Ivan who is journeying from Birmingham to London to solve a crisis, all the while dealing with calls from his friends, family, and co-workers about where he’s going. Locke is perhaps Hardy’s most impressive role. The entire film takes place in a car with only Tom on screen. Meaning he’s confined in a tight space, restricting his movement and he has to carry the entire movie with his performance. Thankfully he pulls it off with gusto. Though his welsh accent wavers his calm delivery works incredibly well to endear a somewhat unsympathetic character to the audience. And his physical performance says so much with so little. Only Tom Hardy could pull off something that daring.

Ivan, the titular character of Locke
Ivan, the titular character of Locke [Source: Tribeca Film Festival]

Ronnie/Reggie Kray – Legend

The best thing about Tom Hardy’s portrayal of the notorious twin gangsters is that you never spend any time thinking about the technical side of his performance. You’re completely invested in him. Both roles complement his skills and past triumphs. As Ronnie, Hardy is much more animalistic. An imposing, violent tough guy which clearly recalls his performances as Stuart Shorter, Bronson, and Bane. And as Reggie, we see the same effortlessly cool but dark-edged charisma he showed in Inception and The Drop. And once again Hardy adds a lot of humanity to these characters. Ronnie’s admission to being gay and Reggie’s love/hater relationship with his brother are incredibly effective. Not because of the lines he’s given but because of how he plays them. This is why whenever anyone talks about Legend they do so solely for Hardy’s performance.

Ronnie and Reggie Kray in Legend
Ronnie and Reggie Kray in Legend [Source: Movie TV Tech Geeks News]

Thus ends our list of Tom Hardy’s best performances. Did we miss any out? Please let us know what your favourite Tom Hardy role is and what you think of our selections.

Also Read: What Happens To Your Brain When Watching A Horror Movie?

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Reviews

Review: Venom [Spoiler Free]

October 3, 2018

Comic book movies have been big business this year. Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Deadpool 2 are all among the highest grossing films of the year. It’s not surprising therefore that Sony is looking to continue the trend of big comic book hits by making a movie about one of Spiderman’s greatest villains, the alien symbiote, Venom.

Combining the reliability of the Marvel brand with the super anti-heroics of films like Deadpool and Suicide Squad and the box office draw of Tom Hardy. Will this version of Venom be a success or will we all be left pining for the days of Spiderman 3? Let’s look.

The Story

Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy) is a reporter with a conscience, always wanting to find the truth. He has a fiancé, Anne (Michelle Williams), a weekly TV show and even a cute cat. But when he asks the head of the life corporation, Carlton Drake (Riz Ahmed), the wrong questions he loses everything. A few months later, a scientist from the life corporation comes to him to help expose what Carlton Drake has been doing. But when Eddie enters Drake’s facility, he finds that Drake has been using people as hosts for alien symbiotes, brought back from a life corporation space mission. During the ensuing scuffle, Eddie ends up as host to one of the symbiotes. The symbiote, known as Venom, then uses his body to escape and fight off anyone who opposes him.

What did I like?

Venom has received a lot of bad press but not all of it is deserved. For one thing, many of the actors do a fine job. Tom Hardy holds himself well with what the script asks of him, and his accent is not as off-putting as some people feared it would be. And as Venom he manages to steal the show from under himself as he gives the frightening goliath a good sense of dark comedic timing combined with surprisingly good self-chemistry. Riz Ahmed also continues to impress. His character is not afforded any depth, but he plays his role to the hilt and infuses a lot of gravitas into his scenes.

The action scenes and the effects are also quite well done. The symbiotes natural forms are very gooey and suitably gross and when Venom reveals himself, he is just as imposing and intimidating as fans of the comics would want him to be. The action scenes are also suitably energetic. The motorcycle chase in the middle of the film and the final showdown has some imaginative touches regarding what the symbiotes can do.

And the film works ok as a standalone. Despite the connection to Spiderman being a big part of the character’s history, the screenwriters have fashioned a plot that makes Venom a separate entity from his comic origins. While still showcasing Venom’s trademarks including body morphing, weakness to sounds and his emotional connection to his host. Unfortunately, the negatives of the film outweigh everything else.

What needed improvement?

Hardy said 30-40 minutes of material were cut and it really feels like it. The film’s editing is awful. Some scenes lack any clear payoff. For example, when Eddie is on an island surrounded by guards, hiding up a tree, we transition to a new scene, with no indication of what happened. The film’s pacing also suffers because of the editing. Several scenes race by barely elaborated on, the spaceship opening, and the final villain reveal highlight this offence. Then the brakes are applied for lengthy character discussions and comedic scenes. Which could be forgiven, but many of the characters have no personality.

The actors do their best, but the script gives them nothing to work with. Every character is a blank archetype. Eddie Brock is a boring cardboard cut-out who drones on about doing the right thing but never grows as a person. Aside from learning to be ok with eating people, which he takes to surprisingly quickly. Carlton Drake is a cartoon villain, but the worst offender is Michelle William’s character. Whose only function in the plot is to serve Eddie’s story. A lack of romantic chemistry between the two leads also hurts the proceedings. Even Venom, as fun as he is, has little to no motivation for the things he does. This is not helped by dialogue that comes free with any version of Microsoft Word.

There are other points of annoyance too. The music is flavourless and forgettable. The lack of blood is disappointing for a 15 rated character-driven comic book film. Especially in the wake of Logan. And a lot of the comedy is too broad to make an impact.

The Big Problem

What ultimately condemns Venom is that it does not know what it wants to be. Is it a violent comic book anti-hero movie like Deadpool or Suicide Squad? No. Those movies had characters with big personalities and facets that made you feel for them despite their questionable actions. Venom is boring, glum and populated with stereotypes. Is it trying to be a faithful adaptation of the comic? Potentially. But Spiderman’s absence and the watered down violence will not please hardcore comic fans and the lack of explanation for his powers in this universe and the general ineptitude of the rest of the film will alienate non-fans. Is it just trying to entertain? Maybe. But in an age, where comic book movies have showcased more imaginative and complex stories and have become more than just entertaining distractions, the viewing public deserves better.

Bottom Line

Venom is a great disappointment that wastes its talented stars and potential for an interesting, violent, character-driven storyline. The script is rampant with clichés, stock characters and boring dialogue. Which is not helped by the final product having been edited with a meat cleaver and a lack of understanding about its target audience. If you want a well-acted popcorn film then there are much better films out there.

Verdict: 1 out of 5 stars (1 / 5)