Tom Hardy stars in what will eventually be his fifth film to be released in this calendar year and this time we see him as the notorious twin gangsters of the East-end; The Krays. Easily one of my most anticipated films of this year, I have to admit I was a little disappointed when I was walking out of the cinema screen, but is it because I had such high expectations? Let’s dive in and see. Firstly, one of the best aspects of the film is the casting of Tom Hardy as both roles. The British actors energy and charm help him stride along untouched in ‘Legend’ as his supporting cast let him down massively. Supporting Hardy is Australian actress Emily Browning, who doesn’t boast the most impressive CV to date and fails to stand aside to Tom Hardy as Frances Shea, Ronnie’s first wife. The most disappointing part of the supporting cast was the use of Paul Bettany, or the lack of. An experienced British actor of Bettany’s calibre should have been taken advantage of. I was surprised more than anything due to the fact that I didn’t know that he was in the film, but when the character only shows up with around five minutes screen time, I was bitterly disappointed.
The substandard supporting cast was my biggest problem with this British gangster biopic, but another annoyance of mine during the film was the mediocre script. I expected better from an Academy Award winning screenwriter in Brian Helgeland and for me; he didn’t really perform behind the camera either. Only his third directorial feature, ‘Legend’ could have been visually beautiful that could have included some memorable London shots, but his shabby and predictable direction shows he should maybe stick to penning scripts. Tom Hardy is easily the most in-demand actor right now and he possesses a lot of power at the moment. His thrill-inducing performance as both Ronnie and Reggie Kray lights up ‘Legend’ and ultimately, is the saving grace and only star(s) of the film.
Ronald Kray is Tom Hardy’s best performance out of the two. The more psychotic and mentally damaged of the twins holds so much power and hate in the film. He is a joy to watch and certainly pumps up the film. Tom Hardy proves again that he is still an in-demand actor who knows no boundaries and continues to find roles where people are still very interested in seeing. The Krays may have a better film in ‘Legend’ than they did with ‘The Krays’ back in 1990, but I still think they are deserving of an even better film.
‘Legend’ is powerful in its punch and holds a stomach full of laughs but is let down by its supporting cast and an average screenplay by Brian Helgeland. The hero of the film is Tom Hardy, his performance alone as the twins saves the day and gifts ‘Legend’ 4 out of 5 stars.