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LEGEND (review)

legendLEGEND

Written & Directed by Brian Helgeland / Starring Tom Hardy, Emily Browning and David Thewlis

Ronald Kray: Me and my brother, we’re going to rule London.

Tom Hardy lovers, rejoice, for now you can enjoy two Tom Hardy’s at the same time.

LEGEND, the much-anticipated film from writer and director Brian Helgeland (L.A. CONFIDENTIAL), sees the MAD MAX: FURY ROAD actor cast in a dual role as infamous twin gangsters Reggie and Ronnie Kray in 1960’s London. Also starring Emily Browning (SUCKER PUNCH) as Reggie’s love interest Frances, David Thewlis (THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING) as Leslie Payne, business partner to the Krays, and Paul Bettany (A BEAUTIFUL MIND) as rival gangster Charlie Richardson, the film is part biopic, part thriller and part love story.

Irresistibly over-the-top, it’s stylish, frequently hilarious, and ultimately great fun. And there’s one fairly obvious reason why.

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Because the only thing better than one Tom Hardy is two Tom Hardy’s. While that sentiment may sound rather juvenile and more an expression of a crush than a critic, in the case of LEGEND it genuinely is true. His two performances as the Kray brothers are outstanding – these are not characters who are even remotely similar. One is seductive and debonair, charming and suave. You forgive his misdeeds because he’s just so damn attractive. The other is a paranoid schizophrenic who inflicts terror through his wild-eyed stare and your knowledge of the almost-uncontrollable rage bubbling under the surface. Completely different in looks and personality, you have to continually remind yourself for the duration of the movie that this is one actor playing both roles as it would be easy to assume otherwise.

Recent years have seen Hardy receive the attention he deserves for numerous noteworthy performances. And as the accolades have piled up, so have the more challenging roles – challenges he meets head-on and with skillful determination. LEGEND is no exception and just goes to prove that he’s worth the risk.

4 sheep

 

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