Archive for the ‘Brian Helgeland’ Category

The Treacherous Twins

Legend

legend

Director: Brian Helgeland

Cast: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Taron Egerton, Chazz Palminteri, Tara Fitzgerald, Sam Spruell, Christopher Eccleston, Nicholas Farrell, Colin Morgan, Paul Bettany

Tom Hardy delivers a suitably menacing performance playing both the Kray Twins, Ronald and Reggie Kray, the 1960’s gangsters who ruled London nightlife and definitely had links to American organized crime in the violent biopic Legend.

Screenwriter turned director Brian Helgeland (Payback) brings to life the true life account of the Krays based upon the book The Profession of Violence written by John Pearson in Legend and in a stroke of genius has British actor Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises, The Drop, Warrior, Mad Max: Fury Road) play both twins, distinguishable only by Ronnie’s thickset glasses, with an equal amount of menace, mayhem and murder.

Hardy’s performance is captivating especially in his portrayal of Ronald Kray who was a diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic, psychopathic gangster with homosexual proclivities. Ronnie liked to organize orgies at his East End flat involving rent boys and prominent British Lords, which naturally led to several political scandals.

legend_ver3

Reggie, on the other hand, initially appears to be the sensible twin, as he courts and marries an East End girl, Frances Shea, wonderfully played by Emily Browning. Reggie will never abandon Ronnie despite his often despicable and unpredictable behaviour which often exploded into bouts of extreme violence in public places, namely the nightclubs and bars that the twins owned.

As The Krays rise in notoriety becomes more noticeable they move from London’s East End to the casinos and nightclubs of the swankier West End, particularly the glamourous Esmeralda’s Barn in Knightsbridge.

In their attempt to attract credibility within upper class British society, their nightclubs soon had politicians rubbing shoulders with film stars such as Joan Collins along with gangsters.

Underneath the veneer of glamour is a more sinister propensity for unrestrained violence, which director Helgeland captures beautifully in the films best scene when Ronnie and Reggie fight each other like brothers, who are bound by blood and loyalty, without matching temperaments. This particular scene is so captivating specifically because it occurs in front of their gang as well as Reggie’s wife Frances, made even more compelling because it is played by one actor making it Hardy’s undisputed Oscar worthy moment.

At times, Legend appears as a parody of the gangster genre, so effectively done by Scorsese in Goodfellas, but in other ways the film is a peculiar love triangle between Frances Shea and the conflicted Reggie Kray which she has to share with his psychotic twin brother, Ronnie.

Best line in the film is when The Kray twins meet the American mob’s representative Angelo Bruno played by Chazz Palminteri who inquires after Ronnie’s sexual preference and Ronnie casually replies:

“I prefer boys, Italians. Sometimes Greeks. I am not prejudiced.”

Legend is a sleazy version of the rise of gangsters in the swinging sixties, and is more a biopic about the treacherous twins that ruled the London underworld until their power engulfed them in a dazzling yet brutal fall from grace. Audiences should look out for superb cameos by Tara Fitzgerald as Mrs Shea who is completely opposed to her daughter marrying a gangster. She even wears black to the wedding.

Rising star Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) is cast as the gorgeous Mad Teddy Smith who is Ronnie’s casual boyfriend, although the sexuality is hinted at instead of explicitly portrayed. Christopher Eccleston plays the hapless cop Nipper Read who is both obsessed and entranced by the Krays rise to power.

Legend is highly recommended viewing for those that love factual gangster films such as Goodfellas, Bugsy and Public Enemies, yet has a more British scallywag twist assisted by a phenomenal career best performance by Tom Hardy. This is dazzling, daunting cinema at its best.

Film Directors & Festivals
Reviews and Awards
Review Calender
December 2021
M T W T F S S
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
2728293031  
  • By Playing With Visual Styles, ‘Landscapers,’ Starring Olivia Colman, Peels Back Layers of Truth About Love and Murder
    In the early aughts, an English couple, Christopher and Susan Edwards, were found guilty of the 1998 double homicide of Susan Edwards’ parents. However, for years after, the Edwards’ pretended the older couple was still alive, forging correspondence from them and drawing from their bank accounts. What would make people commit such acts and what […]
    Danielle Turchiano
  • VidCon 2022 Featured Creators Announced, TikTok Takes Title Sponsor Spot
    After a two-year pandemic-induced hiatus, VidCon’s flagship convention for internet video creators and fans — for now — is set to return IRL to Anaheim in June 2022, with TikTok on board as title sponsor. Cranking up the hype machine early, ViacomCBS-owned VidCon announced the initial group of featured creators who are scheduled to appear […]
    Todd Spangler
  • ‘Yellowstone’ Prequel ‘1883’ at Paramount Plus Casts Graham Greene (EXCLUSIVE)
    The “Yellowstone” prequel series “1883” at Paramount Plus has added Graham Greene to its cast, Variety has learned exclusively. The prequel series follows the Dutton family as they embark on a journey west through the Great Plains. Greene will play Spotted Eagle, a Crow elder who spots the wagon train and tells James Dutton about the […]
    Joseph Otterson
  • ‘Succession,’ ‘Mare of Easttown,’ ‘Evil’ Lead 27th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards TV Nominations
    Critics Choice Association members can’t get enough of the dysfunctional Roy family. Two years after it won the Critics Choice Award for best drama series, HBO’s “Succession” is back, and its third season leads this year’s Critics Choice TV contenders with eight nominations. The Critics Choice Awards nominations for TV were announced on Monday morning, […]
    varietyschneider
  • ‘FX on Hulu’ Brand Is Getting Scrapped
    Disney has decided kill off the “FX on Hulu” name less than two years after it launched — a piece of brand-management microsurgery many people probably won’t even notice. At the same time, the FX mark will move above the titles on all of its shows across Disney’s streaming services worldwide. The “FX on Hulu” […]
    Todd Spangler
  • Read More
    Different providers offer different cell phones, so take a look at the options from each provider to choose the right one for you. You may also want to look into any promotions that the providers have to offer, such as free cell phones in exchange for signing a contract. Tags: 2gmhass90