Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton
Director: Brian Helgeland
Running Time: 131 mins
Legend is a British film about the true story of the Kray twins, two notorious East End gangsters who created a dominating crime empire in London during the 1960s, as well as the relationship between Reggie Kray and his partner Francis throughout the tumultuous period.
The story of the Kray twins is a fascinating one, full of violence and deceit. In Legend, that story isn’t really taken to its full potential, thanks to an unfortunately clunky structure despite brilliant performances, good humour and violence.
Let’s start with the best part of this film, that is Tom Hardy’s performances as Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The amazing special effects make the dual show possible, but within minutes of the start here, you completely forget that these two characters are played by the same man.
Hardy completely disappears into both men, with an unnerving but humorous turn as the psychotic Ronnie, and a more understated but powerful performance as Reggie, and that really deserves some praise.
What’s more is that this film does make use of the very violent nature of the history very well. As bloody as it is foul-mouthed, this isn’t a pleasant film to watch, but the level of violence does leave an impression with regards to the Krays’ crimes, making it seem all the more real, and all the more frightening.
The big issue I have with this film, however, is that it’s not an exhilarating watch. Historically interesting it may be, but at over two hours long, it’s not something that will consistently entice you throughout.
There are side plots that aren’t picked up on enough, some characters don’t get the development they really deserve based on the size of their role, and the plot takes a really long time to get going.
The disappointing thing is that Legend isn’t a bad film in any way, nor is it boring, but it gives you a sense of growing importance and tension towards a hopefully climactic end, but it never comes as you want it to, and that’s why it gets a 7.1 from me.