After watching Mad Max Fury Road my wife proclaimed she had a new boyfriend. Thus, I knew it would be easy to convince her to watch Legend, which has 61% on Rotten Tomatoes, as it’s double the Tom Hardy goodness. We rented it from Vudu and sat down to see the story of the Kray twins.
Legend is the story of the twin gangsters, Reggie and Ronnie Kray, and their rise to infamy in Great Britain during the 1960s. Most gangster movies take place in America so this one offered elements I’d not seen in others. The cast included Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, Christopher Eccleston, and was written and directed by Brian Helgeland.
The best performance should and does belong to Tom Hardy. His portrayal of twins is not only impressive, but the two characters are distinctive of one another. While there are similarities between the two characters, Hardy is able to clearly be two different people in this film. Ronnie is insane and Reggie, while likely also insane, is much more in control of his actions than his erratic brother. Hardy had an amazing year in 2015 with his performances in Mad Max and The Revenant.
Emily Browning is Francess, the love interest of Reggie, and also the narrator for the audience’s sake. It was an odd choice of a framing device appealing to us that Reggie isn’t a bad guide despite some of the things we will see. It doesn’t really seem necessary as the film goes on, but it also doesn’t really take anything away from it. Just an odd choice that doesn’t really seem to add much to the story.
My favorite scene in the film was the brothers working together in a bar fight. A rival gang had come to rough up Reggie, and they thought Ronnie had left the bar already after being disappointed in the fight not being a shoot out. Luckily for Reggie, it was all a ruse and Ronnie returns to level the playing field. It really establishes the similarities in the brothers despite Reggie’s ability to hide it.
The film wasn’t badly done, but the story is kind of boring. Things happen, but none of them seem to be truly significant. I’m not sure how true to the truth this story is, but it’s not as compelling as other films in this style. I think we are supposed to take away that Reggie isn’t as bad as Ronnie, but I’m not sure if that’s every clear.
I’m still not 100% convinced that I’m a fan of gangster movies. I love Goodfellas and The Godfather, but I still need to see Scarface before I commit to the genre. I’d say Legend is a Decent Watch with Tom Hardy’s performance being the big highlight.