A guide to….Tom Hardy


February 8, 2013 by thedavidryan

Tom Hardy

Today see’s the return of the sort of, maybe a bit, kind of popular “A guide to….” series. Okay so maybe a handful of you liked it, but that still counts! “A guide to….” is where a relatively newly-ish mainstream actor is profiled with some of their earlier and perhaps missed work. Previous entries to the series are Irish actor Cillian Murphy and Scottish star James McAvoy. This third installment however belongs to current Hollywood darling; Tom Hardy.

Stuart: A Life Backwards (2007)

Stuart: A Life Backwards

Stuart: A Life Backwards is the story of Stuart Shorter (Tom Hardy), a homeless alcoholic with an aggressive and painful past, who meets writer and charity worker Alexander Masters (Benedict Cumberbatch) and the two embark on an unlikely companionship. Fascinated by Stuart’s complicated life, Alexander asks if he can write his intriguing story in what is a tragic but endearing film.

Starring opposite the constantly great Benedict Cumberatch, Tom Hardy is sensational as the troubled yet eternally optimistic Stuart. Hardy delivers a heart wrenching performance of a down and out chap, who has been through attempted suicides and various mental institutions, yet still manages to have a smile on his face as he deals with living a harsh life on the streets.

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One of the most heart wrenching moments of the film is arguably its best, as after making so much emotional progress due to his friendship with Alexander, Stuart has an explosive mental breakdown that is deeply unsettling to watch. As Stuart battles his mental demons, the performance Tom Hardy gives is stunning and instantly stays with you minutes after the unbearably sad scene has ended.

Bronson (2008)

Bronson is a 2008 British fictionalised biographical crime film, starring Tom Hardy as the notorious British prisoner Charles Bronson.

BronsonTom Hardy injects dynamic life into the U.K.’s “most violent prisoner” and Bronson’s antics can leave you laughing one minute and traumatised the next. Tom Hardy is mesmerising as the enigmatic Bronson and his unrelenting performance just keeps coming, straight ahead, like a bull charging through the slaughterhouse door.

Hardy is unrecognisable as Bronson, the London born actor shaved his head and piled on an incredible 35 pounds to play the infamous prison hard man. Hardy chomps down on his once-in-a-career role with stunning ferocity and never let’s go.

Undeniably gripping, Bronson delivers Tom Hardy to the main event scene with a dominant display that undoubtedly made Hollywood sit up and take notice.

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Bronson is full of great Tom Hardy moments, however, the best bit certainly must be when an imprisoned Bronson captures a terrified prison guard and begins to violently intimidate him, before making the guard apply ‘war paint’ to Bronson’s naked body as he gets set to do battle with the oncoming prison officers.

The Take (2009)

The TakeThe Take is a four episode British drama TV series based upon the Martina Cole novel set in the East End of London. The Take is a gripping family drama takes place in the criminal underworld spanning 10 years as Tom Hardy’s Freddie Jackson tries to climb to the top of the Cockney gangster ladder.

Hardy is outstanding as the hot headed and mentally unhinged ex prison inmate who is seeking riches way beyond his capabilities. Featuring a slew of destructive and intense scenes, Tom Hardy lights up the screen in a miniseries that didn’t get the expose it deserved.

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Tom Hardy is at his brutal best in The Take as he unceremoniously forces himself on his brother’s wife, in a hard to watch scenario that ironically sparked an off-set romance between him and actress Charlotte Riley that makes the scene all the more uncomfortable.

Warrior (2011)

Troubled by his heartbreaking past and a tough childhood, ex-Marine Tommy Conlon (Tom Hardy) returns home for the first time in fourteen years to train for SPARTA, the biggest winner-takes-all tournament in mixed martial arts history. What Conlon doesn’t know, is that his estranged brother Brendan, is also in the competition and looking to take the grand prize.

WarriorThe violent emotions outside the cage are just as powerful as the sweaty action inside it. Similarly to Bronson, Tom Hardy’s raw physicality here is something to behold. His neck muscles alone warrant a curiosity viewing.

While borrowing many fighting movie clichés from the likes of the Rocky saga, Warrior is a piece of work that throws out the pomp and circumstance of Rocky Balboa, in favour of a gritty heart wrenching fight movie that offers more than just body slams and armbars.

Tom Hardy is violent, powerful and unmerciful in the cage, but the story here is one of a family ripped apart due to past alcoholic behaviour and parental mistakes. The family wounds are so deep that it takes a literal fight between the two brothers to heal their emotional pain in one of 2011’s surprise cinema flicks.

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The final fight scene between brothers Tommy and Brendan is an emotional slugfest that makes you experience every crippling body shot and bone jarring takedown. The fierce scene culminates as the two reunited foes help one another to the back in what is an emotionally hard-hitting final shot.


6 thoughts on “A guide to….Tom Hardy


    Bloody love Warrior, superb film. And Bronson is just crazy. Not seen either of the others but heard excellent things about The Take. He certainly likes to play a man with issues.

  2. Deano says:

    Got to agree Warrior is fantastic. Has some “strange” parallels with “Here Comes The Boom”!

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