Legend (2015)
September 8, 2015 7:11 PM - Subscribe

Identical twin gangsters Ronald and Reginald Kray terrorize London during the 1950s and 1960s.

Chris Tilley writes at IGN:
"Written and directed by Brian Helgeland – who scripted LA Confidential and directed Payback, A Knight's Tale and 42 – the film kicks off with the line 'London in the 1960s… everyone had a story about the Krays.' Trouble is, Helgeland doesn't seem sure what story he wants to tell, the screenplay switching abruptly from crime-drama to romance to morality tale and back again.

"Ronnie and Reggie's mum – so big an influence on the pair – barely gets a look-in, though maybe that's to help set the film apart from acclaimed 1990 film The Krays in which she played so large a role. Instead Reggie's young bride Frances Shea dominates proceedings, lending the film a poetic narration that seems somewhat out-of-place, and passing judgement on events when her opinion oftentimes seems irrelevant."
Benjamin Lee's review for The Guardian:
"Despite the fact that we're dealing with all too real and relatively recent events, the entire film is given a brightly lit, cartoonish feel as if we're watching an adaptation of a gaudy graphic novel. Scenes are constructed as if they're part of a stage production, the soundtrack is clunky and filled with maddeningly obvious choices (Chapel of Love for the wedding? Check) and the production design is strangely glossy, making us feel as if we're killing time at the swinging 60s wing of a theme park. The result is a major lack of atmosphere and an overwhelming stench of inauthenticity. We’re never transported, we're merely stuck on a tour bus.

"While Hardy is undeniably commanding as Reggie, in the more difficult role of Ronnie, he is only intermittently effective. Too often Hardy's performance falls into broad 'crazy eyes' villainy, with a voice that recalls a slightly more distinct Bane. But given Helgeland's equally pantomime surroundings, one can't really blame him too much."
Legend film trailer

Ronald Kray: "What is that? I come here for a proper shootout! What I want is a shootout - like a Western!"
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome (12 comments total)
Release date in the United States: October 2.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 7:12 PM on September 8, 2015

Reading about the Krays makes me think of a giant animated hedgehog poking up saying "DINSDALE"
posted by rmd1023 at 7:15 PM on September 8, 2015 [2 favorites]

Yes, but does it star any members of Spandau Ballet?
posted by Chrysostom at 8:41 PM on September 8, 2015

Yes, but does it star any members of Spandau Ballet?

It's always weird when a new movie comes out with the same title as a totally unrelated older movie, like they just assume nobody has ever heard of the original. We already had a Crash, a Neighbors and a Legend, thanks. Admittedly none of those older movies were huge hits, but it seems awfully arrogant to just shove aside directors like David Cronenberg and Ridley Scott like their films simply never existed. You couldn't come up with an even slightly different title?

(I still can't get over the ego of Steve McQueen, either. No, not Steve McQueen. Steve McQueen. He couldn't have gone by "Steven" or something? No middle initial for you, eh, Steve? No, he just assumed everybody had forgotten the Bullitt guy, or that his own Steve McQueen-ness was so awesome he deserved to be the new Steve McQueen in town.)

This was a rather silly comment, but having dug up all those Wikipedia links I'll be damned if I'll junk the thing now.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 1:26 AM on September 9, 2015 [3 favorites]

I'm curious to see this, but I rather liked The Krays, which had a theatrical meanness to it, as well as some dynamite female roles -- I can't imagine this will have a monologue about a river filling with aborted war babies, as the previous telling of the tale did.
posted by maxsparber at 6:26 AM on September 9, 2015

I still can't get over the ego of Steve McQueen, either. No, not Steve McQueen. Steve McQueen.

From Steve McQueen's final role until Steve McQueen's first feature film was 28 years. On the other hand, Harrison Ford waited 35 years after Harrison Ford's final role to be credited (he started out as Harrison J. Ford, but dropped that after a couple of years). And Graham Greene was acting for about fifteen years while Graham Greene was writing. You can't rely on everyone to be Michael Douglas Keaton.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 8:16 AM on September 9, 2015

I really look forwarding to seeing this, despite the problematic glorification that the Krays often get. TBH, I want to see because TWO! TWO TIMES THE TOM HARDY!.

I was reading in the Grauniad this weekend that the real-life Krays hated the 1990 film mostly because it portrayed their sainted mother cussing, which is apparently something she would have never done.

Piggybacking on this, does anyone have a book about the Krays they would recommend?
posted by Kitteh at 8:43 AM on September 9, 2015 [1 favorite]

UrsulaH and ricbit reminded me that when I was growing up in L.A., the biggest celebrity living near me was TV Comedian Tim Conway, who I learned was really named Tom but had to change it because there was already an actor named Tom Conway. Never met him face-to-face, but if I had, I'd have been do tempted to say "Hi, Tom!"
We were in the 'postal zone' of Encino, most of which was on the other side of Ventura Blvd., climbing up the hills where the rich folks lived. But we were in the middle-class flatlands between the Blvd. and the Freeway, which I jokingly called "the slums of Encino". (But hey, so was Tim Conway, it was his first house in L.A. and he never moved.)
But I was occasionally asked if I knew the most famous kids who lived in Encino at the time... the Jackson 5... sorry, no, there weren't ANY black kids in MY neighborhood. Which leads to another point about Hollywood people with duplicate names. There was a radio host in L.A. named Michael Jackson for years before Little Michael's first hit record, and he'd done some movie narrating and had an AFTRA/SAG union card, which meant he SHOULD have been the only person allowed to use the name "Michael Jackson" in a movie credit... yeah, like they were going to make The King of Pop use his middle initial. Radio's Michael must've been pissed when Pop's Michael did the controversial skin lightening... "dammit, can't I at least be the WHITE Michael Jackson?"
But I digress...
posted by oneswellfoop at 3:08 PM on September 9, 2015

The Graham Greene thing always bugged me too. When somebody else has already become famous with your name it just seems rude to go out there with the exact same name, like you figure you deserve that name more than the person who already worked hard to get famous with it. Harrison Ford (the Han Solo one) has claimed he was unaware of the earlier Harrison Ford. The original guy is totally obscure today and maybe he was indeed already forgotten by the time when the later Ford was getting established in Hollywood. In any case, if there's an actor who can get away with saying, "Eh, fuck that other guy, there's a new (NAME HERE) in town," I think it's Harrison Ford. Harrison Ford has earned his status as THE Harrison Ford. Graham Greene is a very good actor, but he's not so good that he makes me forget about the Third Man guy.

At least Tom Hardy doesn't call himself Thomas Hardy. Then you could have Thomas Hardy starring in movies with Graham Greene, and it would be a very confusing state of affairs indeed.
posted by Ursula Hitler at 12:40 AM on September 10, 2015

I was so amped for this movie, but why did they choose such a daft, dull narrative? Why focus on a cut-out caricature of the reluctant gangster missus when you have Ronnie Kray leading a donkey in a tux through a casino full of weirded-out poshos? Browning was fine, but watching her sat in a bedroom while the Krays are out smashing up London is frustrating. Also, there are several historic clues that the marriage was never consummated, which would make for a far more interesting storyline.

The Toms were great. And the stylish look of the city, and all those faces and suits and hats, was terrific. I could have watched the claw hammer scene on a loop for three hours quite happily.
posted by Gin and Broadband at 2:53 PM on September 14, 2015

I really loved the palette used in this movie: teals, golds, creams, and claret reds with variations to lighter shades or darker tints as needed. Everything was coordinated... even the blood spatter.
posted by carmicha at 8:38 PM on May 3, 2017

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