Tom Hardy purists, this might be the film for you. Otherwise, I honestly don’t think that you will like Legend.
It was not an easy task to portray the life of the Kray twins, and having Hardy doing double duty is by far the most impressive thing of the movie. He is magnificent and does a splendid job as Reggie Kray, the true protagonist of the story.
There is a double-edged sword here, nonetheless. We have two relationships: Reggie and his girlfriend-then-wife Frances and Reggie and his twin Ron. The problem is that the movie decides to focus on the first relationship, going as far as making Frances the narrator, which means we don’t get an in-depth view of Ron’s character, which is a shame, because I am sure he would have been extremely interesting, but because of his lack of screen time he comes out as a bit bizarre, and it even looks as if Tom Hardy is overacting at some points. This is a shame, especially when the actor portraying Tom is such an excellent performer who could have done more if given the chance, while the one playing Frances is not that great and ends up giving a rather dull performance (Emily Browning has a great screen presence, but that is not enough).
The movie, while extremely violent, also enjoys some funny moments, and it serves mostly as a display of Hardy’s talent. Just a different way of moving his mouth and he is a completely different character, portraying Reggie with charm and smoothness and Ron with uneasiness and awkwardness. It almost compensates the insane amount of time dedicated to a character who is not a Kray twin.
What I said above may sound harsh, when the truth is that I thoroughly enjoyed the film. It might be too long, even though it doesn’t feel like it, and the sets and costumes are excellent, truly capturing the atmosphere of the 1960s East End. My only worry is that Tom Hardy won’t get the recognition he deserves for this film. I hope time will prove me wrong.