Wednesday 11 November 2015

Review: Legend (2015)

I was so desperate to see this when it came out at the cinema but I took an assumption that it would be NSFD (in hindsight it would have been ok as the 18 rating was for the violence rather than anything else) so I never got the chance.  Luckily, booked in a movie night with Allie and she still hadn’t seen it – win!  Tom Hardy, twice on the big screen!

* just a bit of trivia about this, The Guardian actually gave the film 2 stars and rather than ignore it they put it on the poster between Reggie and Ronnie's head so at a glance you assume they have given more but they are hidden!!
Legend, is based on the true story of 1960’s gangsters, the Kray twins.  Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy) controlled the streets of London in the sixties through violence, celebrity status and fear, this adaptation of their lives focuses on their rise to fame from owning one billiard club to ruling London as well as Reggie’s relationship with Frances Shay (Emily Browning).

I can’t explain how much I loved this film, it had a great mix of drama, violence, romance (ish) and humour (even though much of it probably wasn’t meant to be funny).  Hardy had the perfect confidence and suave of Reggie Kray and also mastered his unnerving, mentally ill, loose cannon brother, Ronnie.  How he played both roles at the same time, and made them so different astounded me.  I actually kept forgetting that Ronnie was actually Hardy he was so different to Reggie.  As I mentioned, I don’t think it was necessarily supposed to be, but Reggie was hilarious and his one liners cut through the tense scenes perfectly.

Tom Hardy really has outdone himself with Legend, but so did the masterminds behind the camera. One actor playing two characters on screen isn't anything new, but this time it was done so well it was really quite astounding to watch!

I have never been a huge fan of Emily Browning but I thought she was great in this, if not slight underutilised.  I wanted to learn more about her mental health and how this was effected by her relationship with Reggie but it was only briefly touched upon (if only to explain the ending) and not really considered in depth.  However, at over 2 hours long they may have struggled to fit it in and not have it drag out, I can’t pick a scene that I think could be cut to account for a more in depth look at Frances and her role in the downfall of the Kray brothers.

I've waited a couple of days before jotting down my thoughts, but I'm feeling really conflicted. Firstly, I really enjoyed Legend. Like, really enjoyed it. I can't wait till the DVD release so I can watch it again and convince others to do the same. But at the same time, I have niggles. The run time was too long for my short attention span (not the movie's fault of course) but it felt like there was either a heck of a lot cut out of the final edit, or there were scenes included for the sake of it with no deeper meaning.
My knowledge of the Kray Twins is virtually non-existent so maybe it's assumed the audience knows more, but what happened with the work in Africa? I wanted to know more. Also, like Jenna said, I wanted to know more about what happened to Frances and the events that led to her diminished mental state.

As with Everest a few weeks back, I now want to read every book I can find on the Kray Twins and find out more about them.  I did scout through Wikipedia when I got home from the cinema and found out that Ronnie’s cell mate in prison eventually reported that Ronnie confessed to murdering Frances and making it look like suicide to get his brother back.  If it’s on Wikipedia it must be true, right?

Can’t wait for it to be released on DVD so I can watch it again!

I realise that I'm being a big pain by complaining that it was too long but also too rushed, ha!


  1. The movie sounds interesting. Tom Hardy has been in great films lately that it's hard not to imagine him being good in this one. Great review!

  2. I think my views on the film more align with Allie (though I would give it a 6/10). Hardy is great but the story never really delve into what makes Frances tick. She is just a mess up gal who falls for a bad boy. Also, they never explore how the twins rose to power. We only get snippets that feel disjointed. Who knows, maybe it will play better the second time around.

    1. It's such a shame because this could have been amazing! There was so much left unexplained, but at the same time, it was too long of a movie in itself. You're right though, it might be better on a second viewing, which hopefully I can have soon :)
      - Allie