Movie Review: LEGEND (2015) – Amazing Tom Hardy Dual Performance
‘Legend’ is a Crime Thriller Biopic focusing on the lives of twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray at a time where they were large influences in London’s East End during the 1950’s and 60’s. As a crime thriller/gangster film this had many issues but mainly after the 45 minute mark where the tone almost completely flipped and it tried to be a very serious and dramatic retelling. But the biggest highlight for this film and the main reason to maybe check it out is the dual performance by Tom Hardy as both of the Kray twins. This film is a testament to his incredibly diverse acting ability, as he manages to play these two very distinct characters side by side and make the audience look past the actor and see two very different people. Could a Best Actor Nomination be on the way? I don’t think so as the year is already pretty stacked with better performances but i wouldn’t be against it. The biggest things this film couldn’t get right were A) The tone they were going for, and B) What the overall focus of the film was.
Firstly, the overall tone of this film was all over the place, it was quite focused in the first 45 minutes apart from 1 or 2 scenes but after that it flips and i kinda lost interest for a lot of the film. The film starts, and it has a pretty quirky tone, there is a blend of some gangster elements and it is introducing the characters, but there is also this very comedic undertone that had me laughing unexpectedly quite a bit. I was really enjoying the film and also confused as i didn’t expect a crime thriller to be this funny, and so my hopes for the rest of the film went way up. But then at the 45 minute mark, it seemed as though the person in charge of writing the humour left the film, as that element was completely lost all the way until the credits rolled. I’m not saying it should have been that humorous the whole way through but to go from what it was to just a straight up crime film was quite jarring and i didn’t enjoy the film as much as i should. Even after this section where it ditched the comedic tones, it still struggled with whether it was more of a drama or more of a thriller, it never really blended the two together and just jumped back and forth. Maybe this was a flaw, or maybe it was intentional as the film does deal with a paranoid schizophrenic and it did help to keep the film very unpredictable.
The other thing was the overall focus of the film. The parts of the film i absolutely loved seeing was definitely the brotherly relationship between Ronald and Reginald. I thought how they interacted together and the way they treated each other at various points throughout the film was very interesting and whenever the film was focusing on them i was completely engaged. But there were times in the film where it felt like the primary focus was with Reginald and the girl he has taken a liking to, i didn’t mind that side plot but it would have fit more in moderation. There were times where it started to take over the film and i just wanted to get back to the Krays and so i was getting a little uninterested. The third act also felt quite rushed, there were quite a few moments where the film jumps in time so quickly and it took me a few minutes to realise what the hell was going on.
But even though the film seems to be very flawed, there were very interesting dynamics explored with Ronald and Reginald’s relationship, and the way the romance in the film occasionally tied in to this main plot i thought was interesting. There were some very interesting moments and events that happen involving the Krays, but i felt like the film didn’t give me enough to really understand their influence on London at the time and why they were so notorious. There were hints of it throughout, but despite the characters being interesting, the story itself wasn’t as compelling as i wanted it to be.