As someone with a marketing background, I enjoyed the little trick the people behind Legend employed with their movie poster.
If you haven’t seen it yet, cast your eyes upon the image on the right and have a look for the Guardian’s review score. You assume that it’s a 4 or 5 star review obscured by Tom Hardy’s head, but the truth is that they only gave it a 2.
Although most people seem to consider it a top movie, that reviewer thought it cartoonish and shallow.
So I wonder which side of the fence I’ll fall on?
Movies – Legend Review: What’s It About?
It’s the story of the rise and fall of the Kray Twins in 1960s London, with the foundations of the plot built around the relationship between Reggie Kray and his wife Frances.
Movies – Legend Review: Who’s In It?
The roles of both of Ronnie and Reggie Kray fall to Tom Hardy, while the supporting cast includes the likes of Christopher Eccleston (who manages to stay until the end of the film), Emily Browning, Taron Egerton and Kevin McNally.
Biopics are an interesting genre because seeing as they are based – however loosely – on reality they tend not to build up to a climax. Real life doesn’t work that way.
So like most movies of its kind, Legend is more interesting than exciting.
But that’s fine; that’s what you expect. It’s not as if you go in wondering how it’s going to conclude; you know that the Krays end up in the clink.
To be critical of it though, I think that in certain respects it dragged and in others it barely scratched the surface. For example, while I thought too much time was devoted to the mistrust Ronnie felt towards the firm’s accountant, Leslie Payne, other aspects – like the way their mother was suddenly key to a few scenes and then immediately forgotten about – were hardly touched upon.
Meanwhile, having done a little bit of research before writing this review, I was interested to find that Reggie Kray was bisexual. That was something not even hinted at in Legend, in spite of them going all guns blazing with Ronnie’s sexual orientation.
Still, maybe that doesn’t matter so much because in the main it was a fun and enjoyable effort that seemed to be played as a dark comedy 90% of the time.
Was that what they were going for? Perhaps and perhaps not, but if it wasn’t, then the director should have had a word with Tom Hardy about his over-the-top portrayal of Ronnie. I just couldn’t take it seriously.
In that regard, I think the Guardian’s reviewer is spot on. It is cartoonish and it is shallow.
But where we differ is that I don’t think that should go against it. If it was played deadly serious it probably would have seemed a bit worthy and boring, considering the subject matter.
Overall, the standard of acting was good, the entire production had a real sense of authenticity about it, it kept my attention and it made me laugh at times, so it gets a thumbs up from me.
And while it isn’t perfect, and isn’t anywhere near as good as last week’s movie – Me and Earl and the Dying Girl – I’d recommend giving this a shot.