It’s business. It’s not personal, unless it deals with the relationship between Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy in “Legend” where he plays a pair of english twins who are also gangsters in 1960’s England. This story of brotherhood, business and organized crime has more to do with the relationships between the brothers and their closest circle than anything else. It’s peering into the inner workings of these characters lives and how they relate to one another from the perspective of one Frances Shea (played by Emily Browning). It’s character driven and pulls no punches on how life might be if your life choices match the Kray twins.
The complexity of capturing on screen chemistry between two people being played by one person seems challenging. Fortunately, director Brian Helgeland knew just the right camera angles and effects to make it work. The fight scene between the brothers was shot well and it felt like Tom Hardy was actually beating up a duplicate copy of himself, instead of a stand in body actor. The pacing on this film felt like it could have used a caffeine boost at times because the film felt slow. No movie should feel longer than it actually is and this one did, unfortunately. The film was enjoyable but it dragged at points and I wasn’t sure why.
The film is told from the point of view of the character Frances who becomes the love interest on the Reggie Kray. It’s a fresh take on a story of organized crime and family. The outside, third party, perspective on what makes these two brothers so unique was one of the highlights of the film for me. I enjoyed the detached but still involved outlook on what was happening, to whom and why. Plus Emily Browning sounds great as a narrator, delivering her lines with a certain level of understanding, admiration and honesty about the brothers. This is not to suggest she was complicit in everything the brothers did, but she was honest in her tone regarding what occurred. That part I did enjoy.
Christopher Eccleston was a nice addition to the cast as well. Seeing him as the police officer responsible for hunting down the Kray brothers was a nice surprise. His characters frustrations, successes, bewilderments all captured marvelously using facial expressions only he could deliver on. The scene between him and Reggie discussing how they grew up in the same neighborhoods, same schools, sports, etc but are different was an engaging back and forth between characters.
“Legend” is in theaters now! I give this film two pints of guinness and some brass knuckles. Overall, kinda slow but entertaining. You don’t need to rush out to theaters for this one but you might want a Redbox pick up once it is available. This is a perfect sunday afternoon on the couch kinda film.
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