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Film Review: Tom Hardy Delivers Two Legendary Performances in 'Legend'

by Todd A. Smith


(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)


Hardy Delivers Legendary Performance in ‘Legend’



People throw around the word legend way too often.

John Legend claimed legendary status long before he recorded a hit song.

Even Will Smith once declared that, “I am Legend.”

However, Tom Hardy might have elevated legendary to another stratosphere with his dual performance in the gangster flick “Legend.”

Hardy should receive the rare and legendary honor of being nominated in two Academy Award acting categories for the same flick with his portrayal of twin mobsters Reggie and Ronald Kray in “Legend.”

If anyone has spent time around identical twins, they can attest that sometimes their personalities are as different as night and day.

Even though they might be identical in appearance, their character traits can often distinguish them from their other half.

Reggie is the epitome of the cool and suave gangster.

Although he makes his real living with underworld activities, he yearns for the opportunity to go legit with nightclubs and casinos.

He dates the best looking women, wears the best suits, sips the best alcohol and wants to rub elbows with the best that London high society has to offer.

Reggie will resort to violence if necessary, but with the help of Leslie Payne (David Thewlis) he hopes to distance himself from the gangster lifestyle soon.

Ronald on the other hand is the exact opposite of his more sophisticated brother.

He does not care for the finer things in life.  A mobile home in the woods is good enough for him.

Ron does not want to go legit.  He prefers shoot-outs with rivals instead of diplomatic negotiations.

He insists that the Kray brothers are gangsters and not businessmen.

Ronald is a paranoid schizophrenic and prefers to charm the boys and not the girls like Reggie.

And although their main adversaries are their rivals the Richardsons and police officers from Scotland Yards, their vastly different future goals for the organization could turn family into foe in the blink of an eye.

“Legend” is the typical gangster film, but it benefits from a few unique twists.

The identical twin aspect of “Legend” is unique.  


Its brotherly dynamic is similar to the characters Joshua (Bokeem Woodbine) and Jason (Allen Payne) from “Jason’s Lyric” in 1994 with one brother desperately trying to do the right thing and hold on to a good woman.

At the same time, the good brother has to struggle with the idea of distancing himself from the bad brother before he brings him down to the gutter with him.

Furthermore, “Legend” has a hint of “The Social Network” in it.


However, Hardy’s portrayal of the Kray twins in “Legend” runs circles around Armie Hammer and his portrayal of the Winklevoss twins.

Unfortunately, “Legend” struggles a little bit with its hard British accents.

The authenticity of those accents might make it hard for American fans to follow initially.

However, moviegoers will definitely be able to follow Hardy’s legendary performance.

He manages to master the nuances of two totally different personalities down to different voice inflections and different facial expressions.


His performance has definitely catapulted him into the legendary status and that designation is based strictly on performance and not mere potential.






This article was published on Wednesday 25 November, 2015.
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