Year of Release: 2015
Director: Brian Helgeland
Screenplay: Brian Helgeland, based on the book A Profession of Violence by John Pearson
Starring: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, David Thewlis, Christopher Eccleston, Chazz Palminteri
Running Time: 131 minutes
Genre: biography, drama, crime, gangster
This tells the story of the life and career of the notorious Kray twins, who ruled London organised crime in the 1960s. Reggie Kray (Hardy) is suave, charismatic, intelligent and volatile, while Ronnie Kray (Hardy again) is a brutal psychopath. The film mixes the story of the rise of the Krays criminal empire, with Reggie's relationship with Frances Shea (Browning), who narrates the film.
This is a fairly average gangster movie. It's enjoyable enough, but it feels as if it's trying to pack too much into an, admittedly generous, running time. Tom Hardy is brilliant as both Reggie and Ronnie, the scene where they have a long fight is a highlight, however there is no way to engage with either of them, and you never really find out anything more about either of them than you do in the opening scene. Emily Browning gives a good performance, providing the emotional core of the film as the unfortunate Frances Shea, although her breathless, romantic narration seems very out of place. I don't know enough about the Krays to comment on how accurate or not the film is, but as a gangster film it is entertaining, and never gets dull throughout it's running time, with several scenes of brutal violence punctuating the tale.
Ronnie and Reggie Kray (Tom Hardy) in Legend