Suave, charming and volatile, Reggie Kray and his unstable twin brother Ronnie start to leave their mark on the London underworld in the 1960s. Using violence to get what they want, the siblings orchestrate robberies and murders while running nightclubs and protection rackets. With police Detective Leonard "Nipper" Read hot on their heels, the brothers continue their rapid rise to power and achieve tabloid notoriety.
Review from the comment
Legend is the truth based story of London twin gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray, a notorious and swaggerish pair whose criminal empire peaked in the 60's. Tom Hardy plays both brothers superbly where charmer Reggie runs the biz all the while trying to keep his psychopathic but loyal brother in check. When Reggie falls in love with Frances (Emily Browning), the classic gangster trying to go straight tale begins its course and runs with mixed results.
Legend's biggest problem is being a little too in love with its subjects in the first half. The twins are damn near super warriors, fighting off their rivals with the ease of Jedi knights. Sure, it looks cool, but is a little overdone here. Another miscue is that director Brian Helgeland stretches too far in paying homage to Martin Scorsese with many moments in Legend oozing Goodfellas DNA all over the screen. Tribute is one thing, but too much of it is just distracting.
But where Legend works is with the Krays themselves and how effective Hardy is at playing them. Ronnie was a homosexual in a time tough to be one and in an arena where that toughness was exponentially intensified. The combination of that with his mental instability creates a compelling backdrop for all the other factors normal for a story like this. In that regard, Legend picks up its pace once it focuses on their account instead of imitating better reflections on their American counterparts.