Based on a true story, Legend chronicles the life of the Kray twins, Reggie and Ronnie, gangsters who ruled East London in the 1960s. The film is told through the eyes of, the very innocent and vulnerable, Frances (Reggie’s wife).
What makes this film stand out is it’s leads – Tom Hardy and Tom Hardy! He is phenomenal as the twins. The brothers couldn’t be any more different to each other – as is Hardy’s portrayal of them. In any other actor’s hands, these two could have become mere charicatures – but not with Hardy. I got lost in his performances, marvelling that he was in fact carrying this off so successfully! At Oscar time, the question is not going to be, will he be nominated; instead it will be, will he be nominated twice? Once for each performance?
That said, the supporting cast also hold their own, especially Emily Browning, who plays Reggie’s naive and ever tortured wife Frances. She brings the softness and heart to this film.
But it’s not all rainbows and happiness, it is a gangster film after all, and in true gangster style, it doesn’t hold back when it comes to violence. There are many gruesome scenes that give the likes of Scarface and The Godfather a run for their money. That said, this film is not in the same league as the aforementioned ones.
Legend is a good gangster film, but, excluding Hardy’s performance, there is nothing legendary about it.