Tom Hardy was clearly not happy having just 2 or 3 lines he had in Mad Max Fury Road, so he decided to play 2 main characters in his next movie in order to make up for the lack of dialogue. Legend is that film, and Hardy is the star of the 60s London gangster story based on the lives of the Kray twins. Reggie and Ronnie Kray are kind of cult heroes, and indeed live up to the films title in being Legends of London’s recent history.
Tom Hardy is absolutely brilliant in this film. His Reggie Kray is a witty, lovable and still intimidating character who is really the protagonist of the movie. The gangster parts of the film paint Reggie as the guy in control , and the story of him and his sweetheart Francis is also a key part of the movie.
The way he plays the more psychotic brother Ronnie is, for me at least, the real shining part of this picture. He is funny but unnerving, and you are never sure if he is in control or about to snap. Hardy makes you buy the characters passion for being a gangster and all the dirty work that involves. Its a great double performance from Tom Hardy and right now its one of the best perfomances of the year.
The supporting cast are all really solid in this, with Emily Browning giving a great showing as Reggie’s love interest Francis. She is also the narrator of the film, which sometimes annoys me in films, but she guides us through the film without ever becoming a distraction, and I bought the chemistry between her and Reggie.
Little Too Shiny
While the performances and the overall story are great, it is not quite an all round masterpiece. I found the movie was really quite funny, and some of the jokes really tickled me. However i felt there was a little too much comedy for me, as it went past being comedic relief, and making the movie closer to a dark comedy. Knowing how serious and dark the story of the Kray twins is I was a little surprised there was so much comedy in the film. The film does return to some serious harder hitting moments but due to the amount of comedic elements there is a lack of real tension throughout.
Its not that i wanted a super serious dark period piece, but the film could’ve benefited from being a little grittier then it was. Whether its the super sharp suits everyone is wearing, or the choreographed fight scenes, it all felt very Hollywood. Whilst i know it is a Hollywood telling of the story i wish they’d have made it look a little less polished and pushed for a little more grit which is shown in some scenes in the film.
Legend is a really solid movie, if a little long at over the 2 hour mark, but Hardy’s borderline Oscar worthy performance is worth the ticket price alone. It gives a good incite into the story of the Kray twins, and includes some of the darker points of their characters, but the lack of grit stops this from being the first real Oscar contender movie of the year for me.
8/10 – Great Perfomance, lacks that special something.