Indie Gems: Legend

You can't he half a gangster

I shouldn't have to label this film an "Indie Gem." Had The Revenant not been released in the same year, I imagine the studios would've been trying to ride on Hardy's performance here. But alas, they didn't and this film got zero marketing in the States. It played in 107 theaters at its highest peak, then dropped to 19 two weeks later.

Reggie and Ronnie Kray (Tom Hardy) are twin brothers and gangsters in 1960's London. We see them spend time in jail, own night clubs, ruin those clubs, and slowly rise to more power throughout. Reggie's relationship with Frances Shea (Emily Browning) is also heavily featured.

I never thought I'd be into gangster movies. I don't know much about the Krays, but hearing the name Meyer Lansky mentioned, as his people deal with the them gave me a bit of Boardwalk Empire nostalgia. The atmosphere in this movie is great. It's well shot, calm and steady. Then the music turns up when the Krays began to fight and we're given high energy choreography. 

Tom Hardy, I can't say enough about this man. He's brilliant in this. Ronnie is the wild card, but Reggie is where he truly shines. You can tell beneath it all, he longs to be a normal guy, but he loves being a gangster even more. Emily Browning, whom I love, is our conscience in the film. Her naivety pulls us into the mess that is the Krays. Acting wise, she's not given a lot to do other than be our eyes, but she carries herself well. I just wish there was more emotion from her. I kept feeling like we were teetering on what could've been a more memorable performance, but we never quite take that dive. Tom Hardy gives it all, she should've too.

If I had another complaint, it would be that the film ends a but too abruptly, but I enjoy the rest so much I can forgive it. If you read about the Krays, you'll know what was coming anyways.

Grade: B

What are you going to do with that? bake me a cake? - Ronnie Kray. (Tom Hardy)

14 comments:

  1. I actually really liked Browning here...but Hardy...GOOD GOD what a performance. He's legend, for sure...one of the absolute best of his generation. Leagues better than any of the Oscar nominated performances last year...it's a shame that he was snubbed.

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    1. I wish he would've been in the conversation for lead actor. It's criminal how little anyone in the US talked about this film.

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  2. So glad you liked this! I thought Hardy was stunning as Reggie too and in both of his roles here - he completely disappeared. Browning was awful imho - the one thing she had to do was convince the audience she loved his guy and she couldn't even manage that

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    1. I didn't think she was awful,but she definitely wasn't on her game. She's a better actress than this. I agree her love wasn't convincing, only her naivety.

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  3. I watched this for Double Hardy and he did NOT disappoint!! Boy, Hardy churned in so many great performances last year, it's incredible. The film itself was just ok, but Hardy made it worthwhile.

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    1. He was amazing, this guy really can't be stopped at this point. lol He's so good.

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  4. I would echo your remarks about the ending, though I thought both Browning and the Hardy were good in it. The narrative could have been tighter though.

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    1. Definitely. I'd be even more pissed about how it ended had the rest of it not been strong. Hardy vs Hardy fight completely won me over.

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  5. This sounds like a really good film and I really like Tom Hardy

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    1. If you're a Hardy fan I think you'll enjoy it very much.

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  6. Nice review! Still gotta catch this one - hopefully this summer.

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  7. I really need to see this since everyone is raving about Hardy's work.

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    1. He's amazing, I think you'll appreciate it.

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