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Großbritannien 2015 - with Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Taron Egerton ...

The Frankfurt-Tipp rating:

Movie info

Original title:Legend
Genre:Drama, Thriller
Direction:Brian Helgeland
Cinema release:07.01.2016
Production country:Großbritannien 2015
Running time:Approx. 131 min.
Rated:Age 16+

Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy) has built a small empire in London's East End with the perfect blend of tactics, brazenness, charm and criminal energy, which he runs with his twin brother Ron (also Tom Hardy), recently released from a psychiatric hospital. Behind the facade of their nightclubs, they forge important alliances, extort protection money, and make it clear to their opponents who calls the shots in London's underworld. When Reggie meets the love of his life in Francis (Emily Browning), the world seems to be his for good. But then he has to go to prison for six months. Enough time for the hotheaded Ron to drive the Krays' business to the brink of ruin. And Francis, too, is increasingly uncomfortable in the shady company that is their new life. So after his release from prison, Reggie finds that the reins he previously held so tightly are threatening to slip away from him more and more. And he wants to prevent that at all costs.

There have been a few movies and books about the Kray twins. And everyone who lived in London in the 1950s and 60s has at least one story to tell about them. It is no longer clear what is truth and what is legend. Director Brian Helgeland knows this too, and makes it clear that with Legend he is telling his version of the story, which does not necessarily have to correspond to the complete truth. However, through intensive research and conversations with people in the Krays' circle of influence, he wanted to create a picture of the brothers that was as close to the truth as possible. And in order to stand out even more from other works about the Krays, he lets the events be told from Francis' point of view, which proves to be a very clever move in the end.

Legend has become a good, in places even very good gangster film, which has to struggle with some lengths. However, these are made up for by very strong moments of suspense and engagingly drawn characters. Still, the whole thing is basically a very conventional genre entry, which doesn't manage to create its own momentum. So it could easily be relegated to the category of everything-you've-seen-before, if it weren't for lead actor Tom Hardy. What Hardy delivers here in the dual role of Reggie and Ron is nothing short of spectacular. He creates two completely different characters who seem to have nothing in common except for a certain outward resemblance. When the charming, articulate and level-headed Reggie and the simple-minded, mentally unstable and hot-headed Ron share the screen, you forget in a few seconds that they are one and the same actor. Hardy delivers a truly incredible performance. It's sometimes very humorous, sometimes extremely brutal - but always really intense.

Hardy's impressive dual performance naturally casts a huge shadow over the other actors, who all perform very convincingly but fail to deliver anything similarly lasting. Still, the entire ensemble ensures that Legend has become first-rate acting cinema. Due to the rousing acting, the movie is a pleasure to watch even in its more tame moments, even if it only has conventional fare to offer dramaturgically. So if you want to see a classic gangster drama with great actors, a good soundtrack (among others by singer Duffy, who also makes a small guest appearance), some suspense and a pinch of cleverly implemented humor, and can do without great innovations, you should not miss this film just because of Tom Hardy - and if possible watch it in the English OV, in which Hardy's multifaceted play becomes even clearer. Absolutely worth seeing

An article by Frankfurt-Tipp


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Cinema trailer for the movie "Legend (Großbritannien 2015)"
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