“LEGEND” My rating: B
132 minutes | MPAA rating: R
Brit thesp Tom Hardy was up for an Oscar this year for his supporting work as a murderous fur trapper in “The Revenant.” But the Academy folk overlooked his greatest performance(s) of 2015 when they failed to recognize Hardy’s work in “Legend.”
In this crime drama from writer/director Brian Helgeland (“A Knight’s Tale,” “42,” and the screenplays for “L.A. Confidential” and “Mystic River”) Hardy plays two characters drawn from real life.
In the 1960s identical twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray were the kings of crime in London’s East End. But although they shared identical genes, the siblings could hardly have been more different.
Reggie was a spiffy-dressing, silver-tongued charmer and lady’s man. With his breezy glad-handing style he could have been a politician. And if Reggie couldn’t get what he wanted with charm, there was always the option of a mind-changing beat-down.
(For all the fear they generated, the Krays weren’t terribly bloodthirsty — at least by American gangster standards. Their stock in trade was intimidation…the mere threat of bodily harm usually was sufficient.)
Ronnie, on the other hand, was a hulking, brooding psychopath who radiated brutal potential. Plus he was openly bisexual at a time when homosexual acts were still illegal (not that any sane individual would exhibit even a trace of homophobia in his presence). One shudders at the physical abuse his sexual partners must have undergone.