By Christian DiMartino
Brian Hegeland’s Legend gives us Tom Hardy… TWICE. I don’t know about you, but I don’t see much of a reason to complain.
Hardy has been on a roll recently. Granted, I have to wait another week to see The Revenant, but that doesn’t matter. His work in films like Locke, The Dark Knight Rises, and The Drop is solid enough to show that he’s one of the most interesting actors we have. He’s definitely the best part of Legend, and is certainly the reason to see it.
Now, of course I don’t know much about The Kray twins, so I obviously went in blind. But the film tells the true story of Reggie and Ronnie Kray (both played, obviously, by Hardy), two British gangsters from the 1960s. Reggie is a little more… collected, than Ronnie, but they are both monsters in their own ways. Either way, the film tells of their crime empire.
The film also captures their relationships. Whether it be the relationship between the brothers, or between Reggie and Frances (Emily Browning). Frances serves as the narrator of the story.
Hegeland, an Oscar-winning screenwriter for L.A. Confidential back in 1997, knows how to pack a punch. The films he is usually involved in feature sharp dialogue, and Legend is no exception. It ain’t no L.A. Confidential, but hey, it’ll do.
There are things about Legend that don’t quite work. To me, when I see a gangster film, it needs to be gritty, and only occasionally is there any sign of grit. It’s there, but it should stay there. It’s entertaining and fun, but should it be fun? I was fine with the approach, but I felt like a different one was necessary. I never really took it seriously.
Hegeland does capture the 60s well, whether it’s through the look or the soundtrack. I also liked the relationship between Browning and Hardy. I feel like he’s too old for her, but they still make it work. And of course, having Hardy in a dual role is always a good touch. Especially since both characters he’s whipped up work.
I liked Legend. I didn’t love it, even though I wanted to. It’s not going to win any awards, but it is worth seeing nonetheless.