Tom Hardy is Legendary as the Kray twins.
Siarlot Lloyd reviews Legend
Apparently, if the Kray Twins had been one role, Tom Hardy’s acting in Legend would be the highest paid role in film history. And he earns it. Hardy is a joy to watch, portraying both Ron’s menacing madness and Reggie’s fast talking, dapper villain-protagonist so well that it’s easy to forget that the Krays are being played by the same man. The film looks fantastic as well, the costumes, set and soundtrack all slot together recreate a beautifully nostalgic view of the 60s.
But what the film has in looks and Hardy’s acting, it lacks in several other areas.
The fight scenes switch between visceral and comical sometimes in the same scene, and they end up being cartoonish, even at points which should be more affecting. (It’s the film’s language more than its violence that earn it its 18 rating.)
Similarly, Christopher Eccleston is hugely underused as the detective trying to bring the brothers down. He spends most of his time brooding in police cars.
But the most jarring element of the film (other than Duffy’s incredibly fake wig) is the narration. With choice phrases like “the queen was safe but God save the rest of us” it seems like the scriptwriters were trying too hard to be clever. And if they’re not trying to be clever, they end up being corny.
Not to mention, since it’s Reggie’s wife Frances (Emily Browning) who narrates you’d think she’d be a more obvious protagonist.
Instead, she spends most her time looking fashionably tragic. According to the people who knew Frances Shea, Browning fails to capture the spark that enraptured the real Reggie Kray.
The film feels overly long too, at over two hours. The pacing starts well, witty and face paced, but it drags in the second act.
That’s not to say it’s a bad film. All in all it’s fairly enjoyable, but if it weren’t for Tom Hardy, it would barely be average.