Legend (2015) Poster

(I) (2015)

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7/10
Hardy is excellent, the rest is not so much
themadmovieman9 September 2015
The story of the Kray twins is a fascinating one, full of violence and deceit. In Legend, that story isn't really taken to its full potential, thanks to an unfortunately clunky structure despite brilliant performances, good humour and violence.

Let's start with the best part of this film, that is Tom Hardy's performances as Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The amazing special effects make the dual show possible, but within minutes of the start here, you completely forget that these two characters are played by the same man.

Hardy completely disappears into both men, with an unnerving but humorous turn as the psychotic Ronnie, and a more understated but powerful performance as Reggie, and that really deserves some praise.

What's more is that this film does make use of the very violent nature of the history very well. As bloody as it is foul-mouthed, this isn't a pleasant film to watch, but the level of violence does leave an impression with regards to the Krays' crimes, making it seem all the more real, and all the more frightening.

The big issue I have with this film, however, is that it's not an exhilarating watch. Historically interesting it may be, but at over two hours long, it's not something that will consistently entice you throughout.

There are side plots that aren't picked up on enough, some characters don't get the development they really deserve based on the size of their role, and the plot takes a really long time to get going.

The disappointing thing is that Legend isn't a bad film in any way, nor is it boring, but it gives you a sense of growing importance and tension towards a hopefully climactic end, but it never comes as you want it to.
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6/10
Two of Hardy's best performances in a movie with not much else going for it.
lnvicta22 December 2015
Legend is a gripping movie, there's no doubt about it. Seeing Tom Hardy on screen, whether he's playing Reggie, Ronald, or both, is absolutely captivating. He owns the roles, and despite their identical looks you feel that they're completely different people because of how well Hardy portrays them. Reggie is sophisticated, methodical, affable; Ronnie is impulsive, unpredictable, paranoid. As a vehicle for Tom Hardy's acting chops, Legend is a home run. Unfortunately, that is where the positives of the movie end.

The movie is tonally confused from scene to scene. It can be romantic one minute, ultra-violent the next, then reserved and introspective the minute after that. It's clunky writing; every time the movie begins to gain momentum it trips on itself one way or another. Also, you really don't care about any character other than the twins. I mean, thankfully they're in just about every scene, but they're always surrounded by faceless goons, or with a generic love interest, or no-name cops - not fully fleshed out characters. This is in no way a fault of the actors though. Christopher Eccleston is wasted yet again as a villain after Thor: The Dark World. Here he's in an antihero role as the cop assigned to the Kray's case, but his lines lack any form of personality. He does what he can but he really has nothing to work with. Chazz Palminteri makes an appearance for about 5 minutes total as his usual gangster self, but in the end you're left scratching your head. So many characters, so much potential, but the only thing holding the movie together is Tom Hardy.

So as you can infer, Legend is worth a watch if you're a Tom Hardy fan. He's scarily good in these roles, and two Tom Hardys are better than one. For that reason alone I can't give this movie a lower score. However, if you're looking for substance in a gangster biopic, you'll have to look elsewhere.
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8/10
The Hardy Twins, what a treat
alanbenfieldjr25 August 2017
The original film about the subject "The Krays" (1990) had Billie Whitelaw as their mother and, somehow, she dominated my memory of the film. Here the twins have a mother but she is, on the film, a distant character and that's what I missed here. I missed their interaction. She clearly had a massive influence in their characters but in Legend, those pieces of the puzzle are unfortunately missing. But, Tom Hardy compensates for any flaws. He is extraordinary, twice. The twins are total individuals, totally two people. What they carry in common is a sort of sexual danger, one explicitly the other implicitly but both as powerful. They dare us to get close. Amazing performance(s)
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5/10
Tom Hardy shines in bad movie.
mgould2311 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
The only good thing about this very average film is Tom Hardy's acting. A lesser talented actor would have made it almost unwatchable. Short on facts, the writers here have just invented or borrowed bits to try and make the film sensational. It hasn't worked very well but at least shows the 'Krays' were a couple of psychopathic violent lunatics whose scrambled brains believed they were something special. Fact is, in this film, the one bit of fact we do know was said by Chas Palmintiri as Angelo Bruno the Philly mob boss, 'mobsters should keep a low profile'. Ironically poor old Angelo Bruno got whacked by Nicky Scarfo, a psychopath mafiosi who just like the 'Krays' loved being high profile and just like the Krays was sentenced to die in prison.

The 'Krays' and most of the morons who worked for them were as thick as planks. They were also seriously dangerous psychopathic paranoid, disorganised nut cases who would use violence against anybody who got in the way. Although the story seems to have forgotten a lot of well recorded facts and many real people. Where was older brother Charlie Kray and other faces who stood trial with them. Why so many of the main 60s true characters strangely left out of the film. The so called shootout scene was way off the recorded known facts in the Kray's pub the 'Carpenters Arms' and the only gunfight was in Catford at 'Mr Smiths' drinking club in 1965 and neither of the Krays were there. In this film, the 'Blind Beggar' pub had mysteriously moved from it's prominent place on the busy east end Whitechapel Rd to what was some unknown dark cobbled back street which was obviously a film set. Frances Shea had left Reg Kray 8 months after the wedding in 1965, she left diaries clarifying he was fairly useless as a man. The Triumph Spitfire he buys her was a 1967 registered car some two years later. Far from being respected by their 'firm' they were often looked upon a a couple of morons. Albert Donahue's nicknames for the twins was 'Gert and Daisy'.

The film could have told interesting story if it had been researched properly. The true story is far more interesting than this fiction. None of it is anywhere near the truth.

This film takes some of it's stories from an old book written by a toff named John Pearson. The book was written forty plus years ago and I can imagine they must have had a great time filling Pearson full of tall stories. But this film surpasses the book in being so full of fiction it becomes a spot the next mistake game. I am glad to say that the film does not glorify the 'Krays', it shows them more as the pathetic, paranoid, violent, brainless sick morons they were. Very lucky to have gotten away with their crimes for so long. But the 50s and 60s were not long after the war and London and times were a whole lot different. If anyone out there aspires to admire these couple of lowlifes, they seriously need a reality check up.

The Krays and the Richardson stories have been hijacked by so many 'silly b***icks' wannabe gangsters and money grabbing Kray wives it has become a monumental joke. Much of it fuelled by old showbiz people like Barbara Windsor for one who come up with' they were good boys who loved their old Mum'. Many of the most evil despots in history loved their Mothers. The 'Krays' were hated with a passion by many of the proper old faces around London. The Krays were disorganised and out of control. Only last week, Freddie Foreman, who is a wily old fox and was smart enough to shun the limelight when he was active said had the Krays not been arrested they were due to be 'ironed out'. Freddie Foreman would know more about the Krays, the Richardsons and London's underworld than is contained the many books about the 'Krays'. There are many who were there who believe that it would have been better for all of us if they had been ironed out and disappeared off of the face of the earth in 1967.

The 'Krays' do not deserve being called a legend. The bull***t has created an industry out there for second rate books, films and documentaries that will invent anything to get your money. This is just another one. As a gangster movie, it isn't in the same league as American films 'Godfather' 'Goodfellas' or 'Casino' from a Brit angle it doesn't come close to 'The long Good Friday' or 'Sexy Beast'. 'Legend' is just another ordinary film made watchable by Tom Hardy's performance.

Before you see this movie, watch Monty Python's 'Pirhana Bros' sketch and take on the Krays, apart from being hilarious, the Pythons got it far more right than the writers of 'Legend'.
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7/10
Hardy excels in a dual role of some right historical bad 'uns
bob-the-movie-man28 February 2016
Tom Hardy is a strange fish as an actor. Famous for being almost incomprehensible in "The Dark Night Rises" and almost equally incomprehensible in his co-starring role in "The Revenant", it's sometimes really difficult to get a sense of his true abilities. Here in "Legend" he gets to show what he's made of…. Twice! Hardy plays both roles in the story of Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the infamous gangsters who ruled across large parts of London in the 1960's.

The film tells the story of the rise of the duo, focusing in particular on the wooing by Reggie of Frances (Emily Browning), the local girl who fell in love with and then married the hoodlum. Reggie and Ronnie – whilst both undisputed 'bad uns' – were as different as chalk and cheese. Reggie was all for semi-legitimizing the business, running deals through his socialite-heavy clubs, and gaining higher-level cover by inveigling his way into control of political contacts such as Lord Boothby (a delightfully oily John Sessions).

In contrast, Ronnie was an out-and-out psychopath with a malfunctioning 'off' button and no button at all marked 'self-control'. An open homosexual – something far more shocking in the '60s than it is today – Ronnie was a medicated loose cannon that even Reggie had trouble controlling. Gathering a posse of 'boys' around him (including Kingsman's Taron Egerton) Ronnie blazes a trail of bloody violence against rival gangs with little regard to the consequences.

On the side of the law was Nipper Read ("Dr Who" re-booter Christopher Ecclestone) as the dogged detective trying to find something – anything – to pin on the brothers.

Hardy manages to convey each brothers' idiosyncrasies so well that you quickly forget that this is the same actor playing both roles. It is only in some of the more interactive scenes (such as a fight between the two of them) that the illusion fails apart somewhat and where acting twins would have made for more convincing footage (unfortunately Jedward were unavailable!).

What makes Hardy's performance as Reggie particularly memorable is that for much of the film - and against your better judgment - you end up rooting for Reggie and wishing him to 'succeed'. (This is more by way of comparison against Ronnie's truly abhorrent behavior than against any absolute measure of 'good').

Browning is also compelling as the love-lost Frances, getting deeper and deeper into a world she has no control over and having to act to extremes of both love and fear. Also worthy of mention is the portrayal by David Thewlis (Lupin from the Potter films) of the Kray's financial adviser Leslie Payne: a man who knows he has the financial respect of the twins (at least Reggie) but is always sailing a dangerous course between kowtowing to them and criticizing their actions.

Written and directed by Brian Helgeland ("Payback"), this is an intelligent British thriller, reflecting a visceral view of the criminal underworld of London in the '60's. Overall, its an enjoyable watch that perhaps - Hardy aside - doesn't quite live up to its potential. A note however for the sensitive viewer: this is a very (very) violent film in places, and a couple of the scenes in particular are hard to watch.

(Please visit bob-the-movie-man.com for the graphical version of this review. Thanks.)
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7/10
Hardy terrific, film so so
scott_thompson745413 September 2015
I was really looking forward to this one; the trailers were great and, whilst I'm not one of those who glamourise the Krays (they loved their mums, would do anything for you blah blah blah), I do find it bizarrely fascinating how the Krays/Richardsons have passed into London folklore. Alas, it's a bit of a let down. Hardy throws himself into both roles, by turns amusing and scary as Ronnie and compelling as a Reggie trying to build an empire while struggling to keep his brother in check. But he is let down by a clunky structure, it takes a while to get going and subplots and characters are introduced and then discarded on a whim, an awful Frances Kray voice-over, and an uneven script which can't quite decide if it wants to be an American style gangster flick or tread the same path as The Long Good Friday, Get Carter et al. And who let Duffy and her nails down a blackboard voice back in? I really hoped we'd seen the last of her after that crap Diet Coke ad. The club scenes aren't quite working guys. I know, let's get Duffy, stuck a wig on her and she can caterwaul her way through some 60s classics. High five!!!
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7/10
Proof that you can't have too much of Tom Hardy
quincytheodore1 December 2015
It is true that glasses and change of hairdo can actually produce a different personality. This movie is mostly dedicated to Tom Hardy delivering his excellent, albeit slightly and funnily schizophrenic, acting prowess. As far as biopic goes, other films such as Black Mass delivers a more in depth-look of the mafia life style, but Legend opts for a direct personal view of the brothers and takes full advantage of the lead actor.

Tom Hardy plays as both Ron and Reggie Kray, performed with a tweak of facial expression and mild change on make-up. Reggie is the more levelheaded one while Ron can be described as batcrap insane. They are both capable of violence and living a shared gangster life. The events are told by narration from Frances (Emily Browning), Reggie's love interest and a silent witness to the horrible dealings.

The movie's strongest point is undoubtedly the lead, it is not often that this "one actor two roles" is used in cinema recently. Tom Hardy delivers everything expected from him, from the subtle or strong expression, change of speech and mannerism to intricate body language of different characters. Viewers know the twin scene is done by effect, yet they often look like two different persons interacting with each other.

It dabbles in less criminal activities and more in private life, evident by using Frances a key point for developments even though she is mostly there as spectator, especially when mafia dealings are concerned. Emily Browning is a good addition, she handles her own well, but it's not the level of outlandish on-screen presence like the Krays.

While there is a definite involvement of crime thriller aspect, it doesn't portray the shady indulgent in its entirety. It's not the intricate inside view like that of American Hustle. There are few violent scenes, although the movie is not a noir gritty musing and some of the events could be done more thoroughly.

Tom Hardy has done some interesting roles, but none arguably had this level of complexity. Legend further cemented his acting signature on the silver screen, it may not be an in-depth take of criminal enterprise, but he alone, or two of him, is enough to carry the movie.
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4/10
Not Really About The Krays
AliceofX10 November 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I bet that you, like me, walked into the theatre expecting to see a gangster movie about the Kray twins only the film is not about them at all. Instead the central character is Frances and the entire story is told from her point of view. You don't get a picture of the criminal world just long love scenes between Reggie and Frances.

To illustrate it there is a scene where Frances asks Reggie to leave the gangster world and he answers that it's not that simple. And I was sitting there asking - why? If the film had actually shown the Kray's criminal life I could have understood his reasons for saying that. But as it is Reggie and Ron remain a mystery, their stories are never really told.

Also, and this seems to be a pet peeve of mine lately, the movie is over-narrated. It doesn't just stop at things that need to be explained for people to understand the story it is actively telling and not showing and expecting that to make up for the lacking plot.

Around 2/3 of the way in I was getting bored with Legend as it didn't deliver in any way. Perhaps it doesn't deserve a score as low as 2/5, perhaps some people will enjoy it a bit more than I did, but what got me the most was that at the end the film actually had the gall to preach their "morality" at the viewer. That's what really got me the most.

Overall the Legend is a mediocre film that's not really as good as the trailers make it out to be.
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5/10
Not what you might expect
taylor_haldane10 September 2015
When you walk into a film with not one but two leading performances by Tom Hardy, who's back catalogue brings nothing but pleasure (apart from This Means War, but we'll let that slide), you cant help but feel disappointed when you leave the screen completely unaffected by what you've just watched, and that was certainly how I felt hen it came to Legend.

Labelled of course as a Kray twin biopic, it sadly offers no real insight into their story and only grazes the top of their criminal wrong doings. Instead it goes down the route of Reggie and Frances love story, who is a character so under developed that the fragility her brother so often reiterates, isn't actually explained what so ever and prevents us from feeling anything towards her.

As for Hardy he plays both characters exceptionally well, particularly Ronnie who's insanity and subsequent spontaneity provides some comic relief to it all, however his psychological state is something that could of been explored more thoroughly instead of labelling him as just nuts. The supporting cast, including Taron Egerton and Christopher Eccleston, also do a fine job though Ecclestone's police officer almost gets ignored completely.

The violence is also few and far between but when it appears they definitely don't hold back, providing entertaining scenes more reminiscent of other crime dramas and what you would expect going in. It shows us the real consequences of the lifestyle they live which does its best to offset the fairly superficial painting of 60's London but isn't enough and so the 'glossy' comments its been receiving are sadly warranted.

In the end this adds up to a rather dull final product that wastes so much potential in this genuinely interesting real life crime partnership.
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8/10
Outstanding crime picture (and Hardy is a LEGEND).
Troy_Campbell16 October 2015
The infamous Kray brothers – identical twins Reggie and Ronnie – are so well known in British gangster history they've already had multiple films made about them. What writer-director Brian Helgeland brings to the table with his take on the notorious siblings is exuberant storytelling, classy visual styling and a tour de force performance by Tom Hardy as both twins. Hardy's dual turn is undeniably the centrepiece of the movie. His Reggie is all charm and swagger, with intelligence and ambition to boot, whilst the schizophrenic Ronnie is a short-tempered ball of emotional bluster. Helgeland sensibly opts to make Reggie the focus; of the two he is the more grounded one, a gangster with lofty aspirations and the ability to interact on a human level with those around him to make his goals a reality. There is also genuine chemistry between Hardy (as Reggie) and Emily Browning, her fragile yet strong-willed Frances able to draw out the romantic side of Reggie, making his bursts of savagery all the more terrifying. Sporadically placed throughout the (overlong) two hour plus runtime, the bouts of violence bubble with intensity and exhilaration, often uneasily enjoyable thanks to moments of levity sprinkled alongside them. The 60s setting is capitalised on too, Dick Pope's elegant photography giving proceedings a classical feel while Carter Burwell's powerfully soulful score affects deeply at all the right times. There's a sense of glorification here that mightn't sit well with some audience members, however the Krays were adored in the East End and to deny the glitzier parts of their life would be to deny what made them popular to begin with. An exceptional crime picture with two outstanding performances from one man, proving again that Hardy really is an acting… legend.
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5/10
A Succession of Entertaining Scenes
Bangell15314 September 2015
If asked what this film is "about", you can respond that it's about the Krays - and you can't be much more specific than that.

The possibilities were immense - it could have been about the politics of the Kray empire, or a character study into what made the Krays tick, or (probably what the film should have gone for) a focused story of the Krays' downfall. Instead, the film lacks any real coherence or a strong narrative arc; it essentially consists of a series of scenes which could have been played in almost any order.

Now, a film which deals with real events always has to strike a balance between authenticity and arranging events into a satisfyingly cohesive narrative. This can be a problem for films striving for strict accuracy, but Legend's larger-than-life, often tongue-in-cheek approach left plenty of room for fashioning a narrative. Yet the closest Legend comes to telling a story concerns the relationship between Reggie and his wife Frances. This was an odd choice of perspective (Frances functions as the movie's narrator), not least because the film doesn't really explore the relationship in any real depth - for instance, five minutes into their first date, Reggie and Frances kiss and that's all that's done to establish that they're "in love". Although Emily Browning performed well enough as Frances, the writing for her character was so bad it was jarring - she speaks in horrible movie clichés, in a way that no-one ever speaks in real life.

The writing is otherwise excellent, and brought to life by fantastic performances from the whole cast - but especially, of course, Tom Hardy. His portrait of Ronnie, though it constantly borders on being absolutely preposterous, is impossible to tear your eyes away from. In every scene, I was waiting for the camera to cut back to Ronnie so I could savour the performance.

Does Hardy's double-performance redeem the film's shortcomings? Well, yes - enough for me to say that this film is worth a watch. You will be entertained, even if the film drags towards the end.

But ultimately, Hardy's incredible performance is wasted on a film which failed to tell a story. Legend provides no sort of insight into Reggie and Frances' relationship, or the downfall of the Krays, or the workings of their empire, or, most crucially of all, into the motivations and characters of the Krays.
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8/10
Legends
michaelradny16 October 2015
Tom Hardy gives an all time great performance, double acting as both the notorious Kray twins. The story is also quite comedic, clever and full of some great thrilling scenes. One of the great things about this film is you know what you're going to get, and it delivers, then some. It's bloody on top of witty, charming and fun. Legend serves up one of the great films of the year, whilst also being quite modest in its approach.

With Tom Hardy's already established terrific acting skills, Legend becomes something more then a typical gangster crime film. It feels invested into making the viewer content with its two hour runtime, whilst always respecting. The award for best actor goes to… Tom Hardy, for sure.
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10/10
The Most Surprisingly Exquisite Film of the year!
Movie_Minx_7726 September 2015
First off, hats off to the acting in this film - the cast did an amazing job.

I was worried when I saw the trailer but I gave it a chance and I'm so glad I did. Truly a very well put together film, with a plot that carried it through and several audience members including myself cried at times.

It showed the brothers in a different light. Allowing the audience to love them, hate them, sympathise and empathise with them. Tom hardy played both brothers excellently and hats off to the supporting actress who played Frances Kray - she did a fantastic job.

A film you could re-watch again and again, the atmosphere and the wardrobe were key aspects of this film and the director delivered on pulling out all the stops. The script was beautifully written.

That said, I'd ask you to remember that this film is from one take on the Krays, they were a complex pair and short of holding a séance, we will never know what went on in their minds - this film is an adaptation of an account. Though in my own opinion it was probably the most accurate hollywood portayl that has been produced to date.

Judge it on what you see, don't waste time with trailers that spoil parts for you. Buy a ticket and some popcorn and enjoy!
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Tom Hardy is just.......AMAZING!!!!
BasicLogic21 December 2015
I have to confess that I could never finish or even forced myself to watch any British gangster films until this "Legend". At first, I thought I just might give it a try and predicted that as usual, I'd quit within 5 or 10 minutes, because 99.9% out of 100, the British gangster movies sucked. The reason why I decided to give it a try was because of Tom Hardy, since any film he played turned out to be very good. And this film, Lordy, Lordy, he was just amazing, playing two completely different persons and characters as twin brothers. This kind of performance is simply at genius level, so good that I simply couldn't find word to describe or praise him. I think Tom Hardy is not only one of the best actors in 21st Century, he IS the BEST! What a great gift to movie history and civilization. There's nothing I could express more.
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5/10
Very poor attempt
chrismonkee5 October 2018
Appalling film about an atrocious family.

Just like how the Krays were a second-rate pair of gangsters, this film is a suitably crap commentary on their exploits.

A great cast give some great performances, but this fails to deliver. That said, I've seen it twice. Don't take that as any recommendation, it doesn't grow on you.

Get Carter and the Long Good Friday have to be the finest British gangster films, this is frankly rubbish.
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4/10
Hardy and Hardy
Lejink2 January 2016
Let's start with the title...of all the films I've seen with irrelevant and inappropriate titles, this one takes the biscuit and I'm sorry, I didn't find the film legendary either. British cinema's continuing fascination with the notorious (now there's a better one-word title!) Kray Twins continues and I doubt this will be the last one either. The twist here of course is having Tom Hardy play both parts, thanks to some clever editing and video trickery, although with Reggie and Ronnie not at any time looking like the identical twins in the movie, you sort of wonder what was the point.

I liked half of Hardy's performances. His Reggie was fine, a criminal who falls in love with an innocent, pretty young girl and wants to be the perfect husband to her but can't resist the lure of power that running his London empire or his misguided loyalty to his more thuggish, slow-witted brother, Ronnie. I personally found his second portrayal of the lumbering other brother to be exaggerated and bordering into caricature.

The film tries to tell its story through the eyes of Reggie Kray's young wife Frances who commits suicide only weeks into their marriage, seemingly unable to cope with her new husband's unwillingness to give up the trappings of his ill-gotten success, although I am aware that her family today strongly disagrees with the passivity and helplessness she exhibits here, claiming in her defence her feistiness and even bravery in leaving Kray so soon after their wedding and then quickly deliberately overdosing rather than be dragged back into Kray's orbit. This seemed to me to be an unsuccessful attempt to humanise the Krays particularly as it seems to be at least part of the justification of Reggie Kray's seemingly out-of-character frenzied killing of Jack "The Hat" McVitie.

I also found the film to be selective of other events in their well-known story and a certain lack of continuity in the narrative, with the use of 60's music to define the era being haphazard at best (for example Herman's Hermits' 1964 UK number 1 hit "I'm Into Something Good" plays while Reggie is nicked while watching the World Cup Final which took place in the summer of 1966 - the Kinks' "Sunny Afternoon" would have fit better, surely).

Quibbling apart, the film just rambled on, with little dramatic tension or driving narrative. It would have benefited greatly from tighter editing and a more focused storyline in my opinion and in the end seemed to rely far too much on Hardy to carry the film on his two pair of shoulders. However what really let the film down as indicated for me were the writing, the pacing and a distinct lack of edginess I think that any film dealing with the Krays needs to address. Clever casting gimmickry can't compensate for those.
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2/10
Well acted and filmed but
alanh-0395922 December 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I was looking forward to this film being a definitive story of the Kray's, what we get instead is a well acted, scripted and filmed movie, nothing more nothing less.This film tries to portray a pair of vicious and bullying thugs as some sort of misunderstood deep characters. Nipper Read is shown as the archetypal copper , a sort of joke figure, which he certainly wasn't, he brought down the Kray's with his dogged determination to get them put away and pay for their crimes. We hear nothing of their gang of accomplices , nothing of their attempts to get others to take the fall for their crimes when they were caught. Jack "the hat" McVitie is shown as a figure who was scared of the Krays , which he was not and is why he incurred their wrath. When Reggie killed Jack all the guests had been sent away and the only people present were gang members , why do film makers feel the need to go against the true nature of what actually happened ? The film as a vehicle for Tom Hardy to shine is brilliant , he takes both parts and runs with them so that you believe they are totally different people. However that is all the film is a Tom Hardy acting class.The whole film is dull and annoying, we are talking about two of the most "iconic" of London's underworld and we see nothing of real interest only some broken love story.There is no background to this story it just rumbles along and expects everyone to join in on the ride. If film makers are going to produce true stories then please stick to the reality of the events ,not what you wanted to have happened or how you wanted it to happen
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2/10
Boring beyond belief
drjgardner12 December 2015
The only thing legendary about this film is the boredom it creates. Marketed as a "gangster" film, the film falls way short of the mark. Instead it dwells on the mental instability of one of the brothers and the ill-fated love life of the other brother. The film disappoints on all 3 levels – it is not a satisfactory gangster film, nor a very compelling love story, nor will it give you much insight into mental illness.

In some respects even more disappointing is the inability of the film to give us a feeling for London in the 60s.

On a positive note I think the acting was pretty good. I say "think" because I didn't understand most of the dialogue, which was actually one of the few charming aspects of the film.
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7/10
Legend is worth the time, just don't expect a classic.
isheikher12 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Legend is the true story of twin brother gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray, notorious criminals who built an organised crime empire in the East End of London during the 1960s.

Directed by Brian Helgeland, this biopic sees Tom Hardy play both brothers in a dual role, and brilliant too, from the psychotic Ronnie to the soulful Reggie. It's these performances that kept me entertained. Ronnie's disappointment just before the bar fight, his brutal honesty about his sexuality, and the two brothers fighting each other in the nightclub, these moments had me laughing out loud, but in later scenes we're reminded these guys weren't exactly heroes.

The film starts with the brothers as established London gangsters, no mention of their childhood, the boxing years and very little of their much loved mother Violet. Other characters are caught up in their mad world. Emily Browning plays Reggie's naive and tragic wife Frances, who provides an emotional core to the story yet somehow delivers a two dimensional performance. Christopher Eccleston plays the copper Nipper Reed, dour faced but determined to bring in the brothers, although his screen time is short, much like Paul Bethany as Charlie Richardson. Taron Egerton plays Teddy Smith, Ronnie's boy friend and henchman with a hint of menace.

My main complaint is the structure of the narrative, uneven mostly and the tone shifts from comedic to violent and dark quite often, contributing to the film feeling as long as it's run time of over 2 hours. The director decided to checklist events like politicians covering up gay orgies and the more personal scene of spouse abuse, without much time spent on the reasons or consequences. The voice-over by Frances is at times unwanted and not interesting either. Even after her death, it continues for some odd reason.

With the exception of the original theme music featured, the soundtrack is predictable and out of place with popular 60s American hits played to the brutality of British gangster life. But visually everything looks amazing: the lavish clubs, the homely pubs, the suits and dresses, all captured within the great cinematography by Dick Pope.

The world of the Krays already has an identity but it seems this version of the story is packaged and marketed to an international audience who may be unaware of the gruesome twosome. Although more Guy Ritchie in execution than a Martin Scorsese as i hoped, Legend is worth the time, just don't expect a classic.
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3/10
Wonderful Romantic-Comedy, Awful Thriller
beautifuldesperation10 September 2015
Warning: Spoilers
This was advertised as a fast passed action thriller, set in the east end, looking into the lives of violent and crazy gangster brothers Ronnie and Reggie.

However this film should have been advertised as Reggie and Frances; A love story. This film centered around Reggie and Frances' short two year marriage, which ended tragically, taking the film into a dark turn of events. Frances was hardly even mentioned in the trailer and yet she was nearly the star of the entire film. The whole two hours of the film was completely about Frances and Reggies 'love story'

In the trailer Reggie and Ronnie are seen saying they are 'going to rule London' but apart from owning a few failed clubs I didn't really see this London empire. There were no gang fight senses, there were no shoot outs, there gang basically had five member's including the Krays, perhaps one or two fight scenes happened and that's all it really amounted to. Although the Kray's did kill a grand total of two people in their lives, it got them sent to prison for thirty years where they died, not quite the blazing glory death and life I would expect of two gangsters.

If it weren't for the character Ron making humorous comments every so often, this film would have been terrible. Finding out what Reggie was eventually like to Frances just made me angry and hateful, which is not what you want to feel with the main character. The only thing that saved this film was Tom Hardys acting. Had this film been advertised as more of a romance film I would not have been giving it such a bad review, but Going into this film I wanted action and all I got was a typical love story.
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3/10
Gangsters and villains "your havin a laff"
ak_kumar0019 September 2015
The film sells itself as some kind of gangster flick, which maybe true too all intents and purposes but the delivery in the final product is somewhat lacking. While many reviews state Tom Hardy is fantastic which I don't disagree with he is let down by a lack of story, coherence and a narrator that ends up dying through the film before it even ends. Undoubtedly confusing for the audience there was no chemistry between him and his love interest and the actress playing his wife/girlfriend her emotions rarely changed from scene to scene which made you care even less about what went on. I can't imagine why she was even cast her performance was similar to her narration ghostly.

Because this is a British film as always the press (UK) will be raving about it putting all their bias etc telling you how great it is. However in the words of a cockney villain "your havin a laugh", this film is slow boring and apart from its psychopathic scenes of violence which you will not enjoy, I would rather watch paint dry. Like Carry on Films, Wine and Premier League football players this film will not travel well and hardly set the globe alight. Don't believe in the hype and more importantly don't waste your money there is a wall that needs drying and is a far more interesting to watch.
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6/10
Good mainly because of Tom Hardy
nicholls_les22 June 2017
Tom Hardy is Brilliant in this and after a while you forget that he is acting both roles as Reggie and Ronnie. Nothing much new in this apart from the tragedy of Reggie's wife Frances and that is the slant that they put on this otherwise well known story, but it is in fact Hardy's portrayal of Ronnie that is most outstanding. he captures the true madness of the man without becoming a caricature.

His portrayal of Reggie was also pretty much spot on and showed how he struggled with wanting to be a successful businessman but unable to escape his violent side.

Without Tom Hardy's exceptional acting though the movie would have been pretty dull.
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7/10
Decent and well made enough, but with noticeable flaws present
davideo-211 October 2015
STAR RATING: ***** Saturday Night **** Friday Night *** Friday Morning ** Sunday Night * Monday Morning

A biopic of the most infamous gangsters ever to hail from the East End of London, Ronnie and Reggie Kray (both played by Tom Hardy), who have transcended East London folklore more than any other. Opening in the early '60s, the film charts Reggie's courting of the innocuous Frances (Emily Browning), Ronnie dealing with his homosexuality in less permissive times, as well as being declared insane, and the brothers takeover of the Richardson clans grip on the local crime scene. But with dogged Detective Read (Christopher Eccleston) on their backs, and their own destructive, excessive personalities driving them to their own demise, it all leads to a shocking, brutal end for both of them respectively.

It's surprising, given the popularity of the British crime thriller and, as I already stated, the unrivalled iconic status the Kray twins have in British folklore, that since they were at the height of their infamy in the '60s, only two films have been made about their exploits, in spite of the no doubt countless crime biographies and television documentaries that must have been shown about them. The '90s film, a much smaller scale affair, had the similar conundrum of casting two actors who looked alike enough to be twins, and ended up with the Kemp brothers, who at the time were still able to ride on their popularity as being part of the recently split up Spandau Ballet. Here, being one actor playing two roles, Hardy, as acclaimed a performer as he is, risks looking silly, adopting an on screen filming style made most famous by Jean Claude Van Damme in Double Impact. But if you can get over this, the film still has much to recommend it.

Telling a true life story, and not to mention a particularly brutal and savage one, inevitably the film will contain more than its fair share of violence, which director Brian Helgeland will quite rightly say is essential to tell the story. But the trick is to show it on screen without 'glamorizing' it, which, sadly, at times, Helgeland fails to do. A particularly unflinching moment is during a hammer wielding pub attack, where the brothers (or one of them, anyway) take out some of their competitors, only set to a rock n' roll backdrop which cheers along what any decent person would find unsettling. The film in general seems consistently unsure of the tone it wants to adopt, flitting between drama, romantic, and even comedy, which it matches with the plot, which lacks any real narrative structure and just plods along, showing various antics from the Krays life without really going anywhere.

Since his double performance is the talking point, all eyes fall on Hardy, who undoubtedly fits the roles better than anyone. He creates more of an impression with Ronnie, whose drawling, rambling and softly threatening persona make him distinctive in the same way as Hardy's Bane was from The Dark Knight Rises. As Reggie, he portrays a swaggering, posturing villain to whom appearance is everything, but in all honesty no different to your standard villain from such a film. I can't think of it as any better or worse than the 1991 film when the chips are down, to be honest, and it would be nice if something more structured and smooth could come along to depict the antics of these most timeless and unduly worshipped of real life villains. ***
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3/10
High expectations - Huge Disappointment. DO NOT TRUST THE TRAILER!
ernoszabo-881-1189020 October 2015
I was looking forward for this movie since a while, and when it has been released and after i saw the actual 7,5 rating, my expectation increased - in vain, it was a huge disappointment.

Personally i feel trapped again, as the trailer was awesome, the actors are well known and trustworthy and the user ratings are also remarkable - and the movie is a disaster.

Besides that the plot is boring and predictable, the movie is too long and it's more like a romantic love story focusing on the trivial personal strugglings of the main character's wife, than a gangster movie you are expecting from the trailer.

Lost 2,5 hours from my life and the price of the cinema ticket, this movie don't worth watching.

So sadly, it happened again... DO NOT TRUST THE TRAILER!
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8/10
Great Performance by Tom Hardy
steve-0570614 September 2015
I really enjoyed this film. It does make out the Krays to be quite comical, especially Ronnie Kray. When in reality they were complete thugs and bullies. But as entertainment this was a great film, which is worth the admission price to see Tom Hardy play both roles.

Taron Egerton is excellent as 'Mad Teddy' and adds some extra charisma to the film. The film is over 2 hours but didn't drag at all. It's not up there with Goodfellas, but then not many films are. I've read a lot of books about the Krays and they left a lot out of this movie. I wouldn't say it is the definitive film of the Krays and it could have been better. As someone mentioned previously, it could have been a trilogy. But I can't really see many people playing the roles better than Tom Hardy.

I would say if you like Tom Hardy, and English gangland history, then you won't be disappointed with this film.
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