Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Tom Hardy – Ronald Kray and Reginald Kray
Emily Browning – Frances Shea
Taron Egerton – Edward “Mad Teddy” Smith
Paul Bettany – Charlie Richardson
Colin Morgan – Frankie Shea
Christopher Eccleston – Leonard “Nipper” Read
Chazz Palminteri – Angelo Bruno
Legend is nothing short of brilliant. It really isn’t my type of genre, but from a critical point of view everything about it was splendid; the set and costume which gave the movie its authentic 1960’s flair, the strong and talented cast ensemble and simple plot, but above all – HIM.
Him and him..
I’m not sure how much I can elaborate on a performance given by a man who was quite literally – excellence on screen. Tom Hardy as Ronnie and Reggie Kray absolutely nailed it. The actor was so genuine in portraying the two brothers, it was as though they were two seperate actors. The only distinguishing feature of telling them apart of course being the actor (obviously) looks the same, but even then the Krays are twins so bingo – that irons out the ‘performing two people but looks similar’ issue.
Hardy gives it his all playing both men, but more so in Ronnie. Almost every scene the character is in involves aggression or acts of sheer recklessness, which was very entertaining to watch. Most of the time I was laughing out loud with a lot of the other audience. Legend has been described in the media as “darkly funny”. And the media isn’t wrong. In fact, some scenes of Ronnie’s are fucking hilarious. Even when waving guns in people’s faces. Such dangerous behaviour shouldn’t be funny – but it is. This movie falls into one of those ‘hilariously shocking’ categories; you know when you’re sat there gasping at how violent the scene is but then laughter erupts from you. Going by the audience reactions, Legend was surprisingly funny as well as darkly serious.
Watching scenes where both Ronnie and Reggie Kray were interacting with each other was filmed so well that it genuinely was as though I was watching two seperate actors on screen. This wasn’t a movie where an image of the same actor was superimposed on to the screen like other films. I’ve seen a few other features where – due to shit visuals – it looks obvious that the producers have stuck another clip of the actor next to him / herself. Legend was vasty different, and so good that during one scene you can see the shadow of one brother on the jacket of the other. And the main fight scene between the twins – Hardy having a fight with himself, basically. Brilliantly done and genuine, it’s visually convincing stuff.
Kingsman star Taron Egerton joins the cast of Legend as Edward – a close friend of Ronnie who seems to be at his side constantly whenever there’s trouble. But trouble or not, he makes a good companion. He’s naughty, cute and scrubs up well whenever they put him in a suit. He also has a wonderfully strange laugh; during the scene where Ronnie gatecrashes a live show and starts shouting down the microphone, Edward sits and exhales a very loud cackling (which sounds more like a laugh that got stuck in his throat on the way out) that adds to his strange personality nicely and shows he’s been spending too much time with the Kray brother. This was also the scene where much of the cinema audience were laughing out loud; Ronnie stands slurring nothing but insults into the microphone he has taken charge of at the socialites sitting in front of him. Calling them “cunts” amongst other things. The shocked faces of the victims are just hilarious, another of those so-shocking-it’s-funny moments that Hardy excels at wonderfully. Good stuff.
Legend is very watchable. Its scenes blend into each other smoothly with no overly lengthy action, so viewers won’t get too bored. Many movies out there based on historical events can drag a bit (probably due to having to display total accuracy) and become tiresome, regardless of their storyline. This is where Legend is different, it delivers a hearty serving of both comedy and drama in a timely way.
The narration (performed by Browning) isn’t bad either; the actress – in character – pops in and out of the movie by way of voiceover to give a brief summary of where the viewer is at in the story. It’s not constant either which is good, more sporadic.
Legend was without a doubt, a success. And 97% of this success was because of one man.
The actor does a fantastic job of playing two men, using some great characteristics – his facial expressions and voices were spot-on and he ensured dynamics were roaring whenever he was on screen. The audience loved it. I loved it. Says it all really. Give it a go, you won’t be disappointed.
You will be disappointed though if you don’t appreciate good talent.