TIFF Report: Legend

Who’s in it: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Tom Hardy (again)

Who’s behind it: Written and directed by Brian Helgeland, based on the novel The Profession of Violence: The Rise and Fall of the Kray Twins by John Pearson

Who’ll love it: Fans of Hardy will be impressed by the actor’s double on-screen duty playing both Ron and Reggie Kray. Anglophiles will love the way the film captures London in the 1960s.

What it’s about: The movie documents the rise and fall of the Krays, a pair of notorious East London gangster twins, one of whom is a little more unhinged than the other. Considered the Meyer Lanskys of London (the Krays actually worked with the Las Vegas mafia kingpin) Ron and Reggie spent their time running casinos, laundering bank bonds, and bar brawling (often in their own establishments) between short stints in jail. Alas, all good things must come to an end—and some of the people closest to them met the worst ones.

Why you should see it: Funny one liners and absurdly entertaining fight scenes don’t do enough to mask the formulaic (and overlong) storyline but Hardy’s performance makes the movie worth a watch. With a little help from makeup and wardrobe, he turns in two distinct performances—volatile and psychopathic as Ron, and as Reggie charming and psychopathic, but only when the occasion absolutely demands it. Helgeland is the writer behind the Academy Award winning screenplay for L.A. Confidential and the dialogue in Legend is a reminder of his talent. It’s just a shame that the film isn’t a little more tightly edited. It lags in spots and the object-of-affection-as-narrator doesn’t quite work. Still, it’s stylish and and always nice to look at—not just Hardy, but the production design too.

When you can see it: Saturday, September 12 at 9:30am (Roy Thompson Hall); Sunday, September 13 at 11am (Elgin/Winter Garden Theatres Visa Screening Room); Saturday, September 19 at 9:15pm (Princess of Whales). Tickets available here. Opens wide October 2.

Watch the trailer here, and check out the poster below:

Legend Poster