Legend – Directed by Brian Helgeland, Distributed by Universal Pictures.
Legend is the telling of the notorious London twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray. Going from their start in the London criminal underground scene to their height of power and influence to their individual demise. However, the movie does lack in a continuous coherent story development it goes from little things which happen in the begging of the Krays empire to the very big story developments such as getting out of a jail sentence which would’ve put a stop to them all together, and that is just glossed over like it was part of montage when it could have been so much more. They could have gone into the nitty gritty of how they got to that much power and influence but instead, they showed us more on how Reggie went to prison for 6 months and having a brawl with a guard as well as the story arc of Reggie and Frances Shea his wife to be. I get why they did this, to make you feel for the characters more, but if I wanted to see a love story with a few dark twists here and there, there are other movies like that. I wanted to see how notorious the Kray twins were, what made them tick and what made them so feared and revered.
It is an entertaining movie nevertheless; it has one of the best dual performances I have seen by Tom Hardy, drawing you in on each individual character beats. Playing the slightly calmer mannered and 60’s socially normal Reggie Kray to the schizophrenic and certified insane: Ronnie Kray. Hardy plays each brothers spectrums going from being able to pull off the hard but sort of likable Reggie Kray, to taking you on a characterful ride of conflicted Ronnie Kray to certified insane and to an endearing character which showed off his nicer side in very small doses. Story arcs from the Kray Twins were good enough to make you understand them as individuals and how they worked as a team that took over London in the 1950’s & 1960’s. Although, the character of Detective Superintendent Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read was very underdeveloped and you never ever felt for him when he got told to drop the case about the Kray twins to when he finally gets the Krays imprisoned, his story arc does not give justice to what Read actually went through to finally get the Krays. Reads character isn’t on screen enough to make you feel invested in his character, you see him here and there but never enough. The sound mixing is one of the worst features of the movie in some scenes where it’s meant to be intimidating and scary they play a happier toned score where it throws you completely off tonal wise, you have to bring yourself back down to where the actual scene is going tonally.
Despite all this, it is a movie you really should see as it shows off the talents of Tom Hardy and his performance of both Reggie and Ronnie Kray makes the movie what it is, without him this movie wouldn’t be watchable. It is just a shame that the story doesn’t hold any importance or stature when it comes to telling a coherent story when it just jumps from one thing to the next without much polish.