London gangsters The Krays seems to have held a fascination by the British public for a while. Having already been the subject of the 1990 film The Krays, Tom Hardy is now taken on the challenge by playing both of the criminal brothers. But was the movie worth his effort?
During the 1950s and 1960 twin brothers Reggie and Ronnie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy) terrorized London. But mixing with politicians and actors gained them notoriety and made them seemingly untouchable. However their reign can’t last forever and the story shows their rise and fall.
The film is told through Reggie’s wife Frances (Emily Browning), a fragile, young girl who is at first amazed by Reggie and his world then learns the hard way how it can all go wrong. Browning is great as the sole sympathetic character in the movie. The film has a lot of great supporting actors too from the likes of Paul Bettany as a rival gang member and Taron Egerton as Teddy, one of Ronnie’s lovers.
Legend is stylishly shot and has a tense, sometimes hilarious script. But what everyone will be talking about after they’ve seen this movie is Tom Hardy’s incredible performance. He fully convinces as the Kray twins, openly gay, certifiable insane and violent Ronnie and the suave and less psychotic but just as dangerous Reggie. It could easily have been a vanity casting, but Hardy is brilliant in both roles that you forget he is playing opposite himself as he loses himself completely in these characters.
Some people may find the film glamorize and humanizes the Krays too much. Personally I think the film manages to find the right balance between the “legend” and the violent truth of the Krays.
Rating 4/5 – violent, thrilling and sometimes darkly funny with a possibly oscar worthy performance from Tom Hardy