overall i would judge this the weakest of nicholas winding refn’s films. that’s not to say it’s bad, more that actually i really rate all his other stuff highly.
a few points on why i found it not so great: as always with refn the violence was heavy and realistic but it was also rather stylised and you could sometimes see people pulling punches, which was annoying; the use of red was a bit pronounced (or maybe i notice it more after reading on imdb about refn using in his films!) and i found the contrast of machismo and camp a bit heavy-handed. also in terms of the film quality i don’t know if we watched a rough cut, but some of the cuts were a bit jumpy.
what was good? well, quite a lot. the screenplay (by refn and brock norman brock according to the film credits) was clever, jumping through bronson’s life in strange but compelling segments. on the flip of that though i didnt like the theatrical moments. but the music was great! tom hardy was excellent as the mnain character. the petshopboys rave scene was excellent, really twisted.
in terms of what it reminded me of, i would say less clockwork orange and more one flew over the cuckoo’s nest and the ayslum scenes in twelve monkeys. and it’s pretty like pusher trilogy in terms of violence and dark humour.
would i have enjoyed it more in danish? perhaps
would i have enjoyed it more if mads mikkelsen was in it? HELL YEAH!
if you want to read more about the freaky subject matter, check: