In Lawless, Shia LaBeouf, Tom Hardy, and Jason Clarke play a trio of brothers (the Bondurants) obsessed with the idea of immortality. While maybe not entirely stupid, the Bondurants – moonshiners in prohibition-era Virigina – seek to test the limits of their mortality through seedy deals and an ongoing war with the powers that be.
Of course, as with any dangerous profession, acts of violence follow the three brothers throughout their entire lives, something that is thoroughly communicated by this new red band trailer for the film.
Past trailers for Lawless have set up the aforementioned story beats – Shia LaBeouf plays the youngest of the Bondurants, always looking to step out from the shadow of his big brother Forest (Hardy) – but this is the first trailer to show the brutal lengths the siblings will go to in order to protect their own.
In direct opposition to the Forest-led Bondurants is Guy Pearce’s Special Agent Rakes, a man willing to test the brothers’ proclamations of immortality. Pearce, a frequent collaborator with director John Hillcoat (The Road), has created a truly menacing vision of an authority figure obsessed with outward appearances. The trailer only hints at the type of malice Pearce is capable of, but there’s no doubt that he wears the antagonist role well.
The ideas explored in Lawless, along with the beautiful cinematography (courtesy of Benoit Delhomme) and music (created, of course, by screenwriter Nick Cave), appear to set viewers up for a film experience unlike anything seen in quite some time. The film itself is based upon Matt Bondurant’s novel The Wettest Country in the World, and attempts to realistically portray the exploits of these three brothers as interpreted by the youngest son.
Hardy and LaBeouf have become staples of the summer blockbuster season, but this will mark a real departure for the two, especially considering their previous roles. Hardy’s portrayal of Forest seems like a complete 180 from his characterization of Bane (but no less appealing), while LaBeouf abandons his quick-witted demeanor that carried him through three Transformers films. We can’t wait to see how these brothers defy death while making moonshine money.
Lawless hits theaters on August 29th, 2012