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Legend (2015) Review
Director: Brian Helgeland
Cast: Tom Hardy (Ronnie and Reggie Kray), Emily Browning (Frances Shea), Christopher Eccleston (Leonard Read), David Thewlis (Leslie Payne)
This film is both a gangster film and a biopic on the lives of Ronnie and Reggie Kray, a pair of identical twins that rules the London crime scene during the 50s and 60s. That being said, the film feels more like a dramatized documentary than a film. It’s with the way its filmed. As a result, a member of the audience is likely to feel more like a witness to the events as they unfold (as opposed to being a witness to a dramatization). The only thing that interferes with that feeling at all is the very well done narration. But more on that later.
Lets discuss the story. The movie is narrated by Reggie’s wife and follows the life and career of the Kray twins. At the beginning Ronnie is in a mental institution, while Reggie is running their criminal empire on the outside. Ronnie gets out shortly there after. Meanwhile, Reggie meats a young woman who’s the sister of his driver. This ultimately leads to him trying to go straight (albeit unsuccessfully). All the while, the police are closing in.
Now, this movie would be a good movie anyway but it is largely made into a great movie by the performance of Tom Hardy. Most know, at this point, that he is a great actor but this performance may be among his best. For example, he is able to distinguish the difference between the twins (even using a different voice between the two). Also, Reggie’s story line seems to parallel the plot of Raging Bull (only with a more tragic end). Additionally the movie does feel like it ends a bit suddenly, but that only contributes to the documentary-like feel.
As a result, this ending doesn’t deter from this being a great movie.