“When I was binging on movies in Chicago with a buddy of mine, we saw a trailer for Legend, where Tom Hardy plays the gangster Kray brothers in the swinging 60’s London. He commented that they really blew it by not naming the film “”Kray Kray””. Sure, it may not work tonally, but you gotta admit it’s kinda perfect, esp given how insane (at least one of) the brothers were.

Right, so the Kray brothers, Ron and Reggie, both played by Tom Hardy and both incredibly different. Reggie suave and smart, Ron insane and impulsive. Reggie fits what you’d expect from Hardy, which is why he was bent on playing Ron. In meeting with director Brian Helgeland, they made a deal that if Helgeland would give Hardy Ron, Hardy would give him Reggie. This is truly one of the best execution of dual roles I’ve ever seen. There was never any question as to which brother we were watching in any given scene. Appearance, demeanor, cadence, attitude, every possible differentiator distinct. Both were fascinating to watch for their own reasons. I love the unpredictability of Ron and the smoothness of Reggie. Either on their own could have made for an interesting film, but the combination was unreal.

If only the rest of the film could measure up to those two characters and their expert portrayal. Plotwise, it felt a little generic and predictable. While we may not have had this exact story before, we’ve seen enough like it (and better executed) that it felt like a drag. Basically combine something from Scorsese with Guy Ritchie, and water it down a bit to get Legend. And that really bums me out because there was so so much potential in Hardy, that I really wish I could have been more involved in the story. No worries. Hardy’s been prolific of late, and he’s even getting awards talk around his next film. We’ll just wait for that one. Bringing this back full circle then, I guess it makes sense for a mediocre movie to get such a generic title.

Legend – \m/ \m/ \m/”

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