Brian Helgeland (2015)

18 Certificate


Our Score
With a title connoting the pedestal on which it places its subjects, Legend stars Tom Hardy as East End gangster twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray. Brian Helgeland fashions their reign of terror into a battle for Reggie's soul between the wife who wants him above board and the unstable brother loath to lose his partner in crime. Reggie's missus (Emily Browning) narrates and we see her "gangster prince" through her goo-goo eyes. Helgeland withholds the impact of the violence until the final act in an upbeat handling of his material which seems off. The approach is borderline deranged but it never makes the jump into parody, while the insight-free screenplay flirts with Martina Cole-esque crime clichés. Still, Hardy creates two distinct, compelling characters, although the relationship between them is somewhat lost in the trickery. His humorous delivery as Ronnie and the charisma he brings to Reggie means there's much to enjoy, while the film's length is easily worn. An entertaining showcase for its lead, if little more, Legend seldom fails to fascinate, even when it's for the wrong reasons.


Biopic of the Kray brothers, exploring their rise to power in the London underworld and conflicts with rival gangs from the point of view of Reggie's wife Frances, who remains devoted to her husband even as he remains equally bound to his brutal, unstable sibling. Starring Tom Hardy as both twins, with Emily Browning, Christopher Eccleston and David Thewlis.

Cast & Crew

Ronald Kray/Reggie Kray Tom Hardy
Nipper Read Christopher Eccleston
Frances Shea Emily Browning
Leslie Payne David Thewlis
Angelo Bruno Chazz Palminteri
Mrs Shea Tara Fitzgerald
Mad Teddy Smith Taron Egerton
Frank Shea Colin Morgan
Director Brian Helgeland
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: Studio CanalGuidance: Violence, swearing.Available on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 11 Sep 2015