Even though I haven’t been blogging lately that doesn’t mean that I haven’t been watching anything. I saw Sicario, The Martian, and finally started watching Game of Thrones. But nothing has really intrigued me enough to write about it. Until last night when I saw Legend, a film about London’s infamous Kray twins.
Legend itself isn’t a very good a film. It’s okay. The main problem is that it can’t decide what it wants to be. A gangster film or a romance? It really fails at the romantic elements, but the gangster bits are good. I think that if they had cut out almost everything to do with Frances (Emily Browning) the movie would have been a lot better (and shorter, it’s a tad too long). I had no sympathy for Frances and just found her annoying. Oh, woe is me, I married a gangster and he does gangster stuff and leaves me alone at night. Didn’t see that coming! Everything about Frances has been done before and it was just plain boring. I understand that the writer wanted to create this struggle between Frances and Ronald over Reggie, but it just doesn’t work.
But the Kray twins, Ron and Reggie (both played by Tom Hardy) are quite a bit of fun. In this film, Tom Hardy proves yet again that he is one of the best actors of his generation. I had some doubts back when I watched the trailer in May. I thought maybe Tom was overacting, especially as Ronald. But it turns out that I was very wrong. Tom is able to create these two very distinct and different characters. They are both fully formed and interesting. Reggie is suave, smooth, the brains of the operation. Ronald is chaotic, awkward, and all over the place. They are both oddly charming in their own ways. The thing that amazed me the most was I completely forgot that it was Tom Hardy playing both parts, I was just so absorbed in these characters. There is only one moment where Tom sort of wavered for me as Ron since I felt like his voice was going into Bane territory. But other than that he is superb as Ron, I loved all the little mannerisms. And Tom was also surprisingly funny in both roles. Legend gets 7/10, but Tom Hardy gets 10/10.
I’m a Tom Hardy Admirer, so long story short, I’ll be seeing his turn as the Kray twins in Legend. I’m liking most of this trailer. My only problem is surprisingly Tom Hardy. I think he is playing Reggie fairly well, he looks so suave and cool. But the other twin, Ronald, he seems to be over playing. I think he is trying to give the twins very different mannerisms in order to easily distinguish the two. But Ronald’s constant sneering just seems like over kill. The music for the trailer is great, very evocative of the time and place. I’m also excited to see how Taron Egerton does after his wonderful turn in Kingsman. Legend could propel him as the next big thing. Mob movies are really hard to do well these days, but hopefully Legend adds something new to the genre when it hits theaters September 11.
I originally wasn’t going to see this movie because the trailers looked really silly. But recently I have heard a lot of good reviews of the film and I really like Colin Firth so I thought what the hell, I’ll give it a try.
And I wasn’t disappointed. Director Matthew Vaughn has created another fun, unique, action film. I loved his work on X-Men: First Class, but I wasn’t a huge fan of Kick Ass. Kingsman kind of blends the two, creating an action film that is both class and crass at the same time. I laughed at most of the jokes, but there were a few that were a little too much for me (I’m still undecided on that last joke before the credits).
The performances are all really good. Colin Firth delivers as usual. It was really fun to see him kicking ass, but remaining posh at the same time. He really carries quite a bit of the movie. It is also great to see Mark Strong having a good role, he’s a great actor. And Taron Egerton is surprisingly good as Eggsy, the film’s young protagonist. He is fun to watch and is able to capture both the fun, silly moments as well as the more emotional ones. It will be interesting to see where he goes from here (he next stars in Legend with Tom Hardy).
The thing that I enjoyed most about Kingsman is how self-aware it is. The film knows its place in the spy genre and manages to walk the fine line between James Bond and Austin Powers. It is funny without becoming a total parody. Samuel Jackson is for the most part quite good, but a few times his lisp was annoying and kind of phony. Kingsman has some good action sequences and plenty of humor. It is refreshing to see a film that doesn’t take itself too seriously. While I liked the film, I don’t love it. It is fun and probably the best thing a viewer could see at the movie theater in February. But its humor just isn’t for everyone. Although I have to say, at the end of the movie there was a lot of applauding from the audience, which surprised me. I give Kingsman7.5 incredibly handy umbrellas out of 10.