Film Review: Legend


Finding his forte for dangerous felons with ‘BronsonTom Hardy has gone from strength to strength, but has he bitten off more than he can chew with the Kray Twins

Legend’ is a biopic, beginning with Ronald Kray’s admission and release from a psychiatric ward. Over the years following Hardy plays both twins as they face all manner of trials and tribulations from prison brutality to classical romance. There is no shortage of violence and it is certainly not glossed but over I wonder if the cast and writers were having just a little too much fun with it.

For the majority of the film the light outweighs the dark and even during hammer-time there is a quip from Hardy to make you smile, while enjoyable to be an accurate biopic you should probably feel a little more shocked. There is a definite turning point in tone as the film draws to its conclusion, you could view this as a lifting of the veil or a last minute reminder that you aren’t rooting for the goodies.

Hardy plays both of the lead roles in the crime-based biopic.

Hardy plays both of the lead roles in the crime-based biopic.

In terms of acting prowess Hardy is gripping as either Kray, physically and mentally flitting between the extremes of the linguist and the borderline mute. The ability to find his characters such huge personalities suits the criminal kingpins, giving them a sense of authority above law and almost life itself. While Hardy is certainly typecast the reason is probably because nobody could do it better.

The supporting cast all do a superb job but are largely accessories to Hardy in most scenes, Teddy played by Taron Egerton who seems to be somewhat of a rising star after ‘Kingsman’ is perhaps the exception, seen playing the alluring teen or teetering on the edge of insanity following in Ron’s footsteps. One of my gripes is the under use of Paul Bettany, appearing for only a few scenes he is every bit as compelling as Hardy, utilised fully he could have made the gang rivalry seem much more tangible as a real contest.

Legend’s’ cinematography and set are on the money without spending a penny more than necessary, the characters are always the focus of the lens without straying to take in much of the setting.  The characters are highly enjoyable so this is not much of a problem but a little more East End tapestry would have been nice. The soundtrack for the film is well chosen, supporting its vintage and upbeat cockney tone and not even attempting a more serious score.

As a highly enjoyable romp through the East End you will be forever entertained but to expect a serious film tackling a serious issue you will be left wanting. Tom Hardy is the legend in this film and that is actually good enough.


Author – Joe, Bath store

Watch the trailer below, please note this film has been certified for ages 18+