Legend: Box Office Review

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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.

Comment below if you’ve already seen it and share your thoughts! Join in on the fun of movie watching and share this post with anyone who you feel would enjoy another one of my Box Office Reviews.

One comment on “Legend: Box Office Review

  1. This is not an exact and proper review, its just a collection of my opinions, impressions and digressions on Legend. I’m a fan of Jodie Foster’s works but I remember how disappointed I was when I watched Nell (1994) which is a drama that shows the story of a hermit girl who was raised in a forest and only knew two people her whole life, her mother and her sister. She speaks a rudimentary language because she’s learned it from her mother, who had a speech impairment. Later she’s found by a doctor and has to face a very different reality when she’s introduced to society. I remember after watching it I thought: It is unfortunate when people make movies with the primary intention of winning awards instead of making a good movie that – consequently – delivers a memorable acting work and ends up being recognized by the industry and the public. That’s a more natural path. It’s not so fun when, as a viewer, I feel something like: Wow, Jodie Foster really aimed the Oscar there, its obvious that’s all she had in her mind when she decided to play Nell, the movie itself… well… that comes in second place. It’s like the movie was an excuse for her to try and get an Oscar. That’s what I felt when I saw Legend. The only difference is that Jodie Foster was successful in Nell, dramatically speaking, and Tom Hardy was successful with Reggie but not with Ron. The scene where he dances, I really laughed because he looked a Saturday Night Live actor playing a stereotypical psycho. It was really funny but it’s brought me out of the movie and I personally hate when it happens. Adding humor to drama is not a problem. American Psycho had humor, a sick humor but still humor. Javier Bardem plays a ridiculously looking psycho in Coen brothers’ No Country For Old Men and he is completely plausible. I find it fascinating how tenuous is the line between a thrilling, exciting, earnest, sincere, amazing, invigorating acting work and something that doesn’t actually work. What makes it work or not work? Skills, technique, personal experiences, instincts? I find it intriguing. I don’t have an answer for my question but I surely love thinking about the possibilities. I can think of some examples of characters (with mental health problems) who demanded that kind of effort like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man and Tom Hanks in Forest Gump. Obviously those two characters worked splendidly. Brad Pitt playing a schizophrenic in Twelve Monkeys… that didn’t work. Period. Its not a matter of taste. It just didn’t work. I had to look away and fast forward the movie because I suffer from severe second hand embarrassment. Now talking about playing roles of people with personality disorders… If I were Tom Hardy, I would have called Mr. Bates, Mr. Bateman, Dr. Lecter, Mr. Chigurh, Mr. Napier, Mr. Torrance to get some pointers on how to be a better and more convincing sociopath. Ron Kray’s tone was a little off. I had not read anything about the movie before I saw it so I didn’t know it was based on real facts and I didn’t know what had happened to the twins so when I noticed that Reggie was doubting the ability of his brother to function in society, I thought maybe the story would take a path similar to the dilemma that George faces with Lennie in Of Mice and Men. You are so right, Emily Browning sounds great as a narrator. She is absolutely beautiful and a great actress, the best actor in the movie in my opinion. Do I regret watching Legend? I don’t regret it. It was entertaining. Just a very forgettable entertainment.

    Liked by 1 person

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