‘Legend’ falls short of legendary


Tom Hardy plays the Kray brothers in “Legend.” The film was shown Oct. 18 at the New Orleans Film Festival

Michael Ossorguine, Staff Reporter

Even through the cigar smoke, it is easy to see that Tom Hardy shines in “Legend” when he doubles up to play identical twins, 1960s London crime bosses and sociopaths, Ronald and Reginald Kray.

This piece of history has already been told in autobiographies, documentaries, plays and movies such as “The Krays” (1990). This rendition is not stale, but not a perfect depiction either, and the dark irony of the plot does not go over well.

Through blatantly corrupt gambling schemes involving stolen government bonds, intimidation and several paid-off juries, the Krays have a brief monopoly over the casinos of London. The film is narrated by Reggie’s wife Frances, who becomes wrapped up in it all. It was a mean-spirited direction choice to glorify the source of her misery through bravado storytelling and cinematography that does not mask the fact that these two gangsters’ ramshackle facade of success was blown apart after only a few years, and both went to prison for murder: not lofty or admirable goals even for fellow gangsters.

Tom Hardy is the savior of the movie, playing two distinct and sometimes hilarious characters. Ronald Kray’s witty jokes and philosophical musings are exceptionally acted, and become even more amusing as Ronald’s behavior becomes increasingly volatile. It is funny to see a “Hardy-on-Hardy” fight scene where Ron and Reggie fight brutally in one of their clubs, just to be on good terms again in the next scene. 

Though flawed, the 1960s atmosphere along with the interesting plot make “Legend” a decent watch but by no means the highlight of the New Orleans Film Festival. 

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