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Brian Helgeland
Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Taron Egerton
Writing Credits:
Brian Helgeland

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

Box Office:
$30 million.
Opening Weekend
$325,685 on 107 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated R.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
Spanish DTS 5.1
French DTS 5.1
English DVS
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 132 min.
Price: $19.98
Release Date: 3/1/2016

• Audio Commentary with Writer/Director Brian Helgeland
• “Creating the Legend” Featurette
• Previews


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Legend [Blu-Ray] (2015)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 16, 2020)

Twice the Tom Hardy, twice the fun? With 2015’s Legend, we get a chance to test that hypothesis.

Set in London circa the 1960s, Reggie Kray (Hardy) used to box, but now he works in a minor capacity as part of the local criminal scene. Due to mental issues, his twin brother Ronnie (Hardy) winds up in an institution, but Reggie uses various threats to obtain Ronnie’s release.

Thus begins their ascent in the criminal ranks, as they use Reggie’s brains and Ronnie’s brawn to achieve their goals. They don’t follow a smooth path, though, largely due to Ronnie’s instability.

Though largely unknown in the US, the Krays remain infamous in the UK, and Legend doesn’t act as their first cinematic exploration. In particular, a 1990 film called The Krays received a reasonable amount of attention.

That one cast brothers Martin and Gary Kemp. This seemed like a semi-odd choice since both were best-known as musicians via 80s band Spandau Ballet, and both also weren’t twins.

I suppose they could’ve gone the same route as Legend and used one actor for both roles back then. Hey, if it worked for Patty Duke in the 1960s, it could’ve happened in 1990!

In any case, this choice can seem a little gimmicky, and that tends to feel true for Legend. However, given Hardy’s ample talent, I won’t complain.

And Hardy easily becomes the best aspect of Legend. He manages to give each Kray his own personality and he offers an acting tour de force that enlivens the film on a consistent basis.

Which is good, because the movie desperately needs the shot of energy Hardy brings. In particular, Legend becomes a slog due to its use of Reggie’s lover Frances Shea (Emily Browning) as the audience’s link to the material.

We get an awful lot of the tale from Frances’s perspective, and this turns into a major weakness. She creates a dull take on matters, kind of like if The Godfather came from Kay’s POV.

We spend too much time places we don’t want to be, and these impede the story’s ability to involve us. The choice of Frances as audience surrogate means we often spend too much time away from the Krays, and that damages the narrative.

Honestly, I occasionally wondered if the choice to emphasize Frances so much existed mainly as a purse strings concern. Legend came with a relatively low budget, and I suspect the visual effects required to pair Hardy with himself ate up a fair amount of that money.

As such, shots with Frances as the focus meant fewer with two Hardys. Perhaps money had nothing to do with this emphasis, but I suspect it did.

Even if we ignore the flaws related to Frances, Legend feels mediocre because it never manages to convey why the Krays became such a sensation. Really, much of the movie comes across as generic gangster material, so not a lot of it stands out as different or memorable.

We get a semi-incoherent narrative that often feels more episodic than anything else. In addition, the characters themselves never became especially compelling, as even the Krays feel undeveloped and less than engaging.

Tom Hardy offers enough talent to keep the viewer with the film, so Legend doesn’t flop. It does fail to live up to its potential, though, and it becomes a mediocre gangster tale.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B/ Bonus B-

Legend appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As expected, this became a strong presentation.

Overall sharpness appeared good. Even in wide shots, the image remained tight and precise.

I saw no issues with jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes remained absent. Print flaws also failed to mar the image.

Colors went with a teal and amber bent for the most part, with some nice reds tossed in as well. The hues appeared well-rendered given their stylistic constraints.

Blacks seemed dark and dense, and shadows appeared concise. In the end, this turned into a good rendition of the film.

The movie’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack worked fine for a character-oriented tale. As expected, the mix opened up mainly during crime-related scenes, as those offered a nice impression of the situations.

Street sequences used the spectrum in an involving way, and a few segments in clubs also brought out an appealing sense of the places. These added to the movie’s impact, though they never became especially impressive.

Audio quality was fine. Speech was reasonably crisp and natural, and effects showed good punch.

Music was also clear and full. The soundtrack didn’t dazzle but it connected with the material.

In terms of extras, we get an audio commentary from writer/director Brian Helgeland. He presents a running, screen-specific chat that covers history and liberties, story/characters, cast and performances, various effects, photography, music, sets and locations, and editing.

Helgeland starts slowly and tends to simply narrate the movie a little too much during the film’s first act. However, he improves as he goes and makes this a pretty informative chat overall.

Creating the Legend runs 11 minutes, three seconds and includes notes from Helgeland, producers Tim Bevan, Quentin Cook and Chris Clark, hair/makeup designer Christine Blundell, production designer Tom Conroy, and actors Tom Hardy, Charley Palmer Rothwell, Christopher Eccleston, David Thewlis, Taron Egerton, Emily Browning, and Sam Spruell.

“Creating” looks at the usual “making of” basics, with an emphasis on the promotional side of the coin. This means we get a few insights but not a lot of substance.

The disc opens with ads for Spotlight, London Has Fallen, Race, Trumbo, Steve Jobs, Sisters, By the Sea and Jarhead 3: The Siege. No trailer for Legend appears here.

Due to an exciting dual lead performance from Tom Hardy, Legend keeps us with it. However, the movie suffers from too many narrative and character weaknesses to become better than average. The Blu-ray brings excellent visuals, good audio and a smattering of supplements. Hardy aside, this seems like a forgettable gangster flick

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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