Legend – 3 out of 5
I’m a pretty big fan of Tom Hardy. Ever since I first saw him act I’ve been captivated by the man’s seemingly unending talent. I’ve watched this man do so many different roles—everything from a Batman villain to a mix martial artist—and each and every time I’ve been blown away by him. I’m not even sure if there is a role on the planet that he can’t dominate. So, naturally, I was sold when I saw he was going to be playing a pair of twin brothers in Legend.
|Seriously, I can't think of a role that he wouldn't decimate!|
Next up for him: God.
Based on the novel The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins, Legend follows the story of two brothers during the 1960s and their rise to prominence in the world of organized crime. There’s Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy), a former boxer who is forging his path in the criminal underground of London, and Ronnie Kray (also Hardy), Reggie’s twin suffering from some psychiatric disorders. After Reggie is released from the mental institution, the two combine forces to rule the criminal underworld. Problems start to get in the way, however, as Reggie finds love with a young woman who wants him to go legit named Frances Shea (Emily Browning), an investigation from Scotland Yard is hot on their heels and Ronnie’s psychotic violent tendencies start to take over.
|He's asking for Grey Poupon--I'm timely with my jokes!|
The most notable element of Legend is the absolutely astounding performance of Tom Hardy. I mentioned in my opening paragraph that the dude keeps flooring me with his ungodly amount of talent and this film is definitely no exception. Hardy really made both Reggie and Ronnie two completely different people but, at the same time, really showed that these two mobsters are definitely related. It was pretty awesome to watch. Finally, with the help of some seamless integration—never was there a point where it was clear there was special effects or a stand-in involved—, having the both on screen at the same time (and even fight each other physically at one point) really sold the fantasy of it all and helped make having a double dose of Hardy really something to watch. Sadly, the rest of the film doesn’t live up to the grandeur that this incredible actor brought.
|Two Hardys fighting. I'd pay to watch that for an hour and a half.|
|Remember when she fought a giant samurai|
with a gatling gun in one of Zack Snyder's
fever-induced wet dream movies?
I don’t want to sound like Hardy was the only saving grace in the cast because that is simply not true. He’s without a doubt the most memorable aspect of the film but the rest of the supporting players are all contributing excellently. The problem that stems from Legend is that I didn’t see the film flowing very well. The story isn’t chaotic or making very big leaps but it definitely feels like it is making a few skips here and there in order to get from Point A to Point B and it made it hard for me to completely invest in the action and conflict. These matters aren’t assisted at all by the fact that too many characters and situations feel underdeveloped. While there is plenty there to understand what you are seeing and get the basics of the people and the plot points there just wasn’t enough for me to get emotionally invested in it all.
|How did the Kray's not get caught earlier? Scotland Yard employed The Doctor,|
for crying out loud.
Legend, for the most part, is a serviceable feature that tells the story of too interesting criminals. Sadly, it doesn’t quite tap into that interest the way it really could have and it ended up making for a feature that is more about the performances than it was about the story.