It just dawned on me that I chose a film that is based on a true story and it’s Tuesday. You may be asking what is the significance of that and it’s because I used to do a blog piece called Based On A Truesday Story (play on the words True and Tuesday) for my other blog. Nevertheless, I chose the biopic Legend which stars Tom Hardy (The Dark Knight Rises) as both legendary London gangsters Ronnie and Reggie Kray. The film follows the rise and fall of the most notorious British gangsters in history during their run in the 1960’s from the east end of London told through the perspective of Francis Shea (Emily Browning), Reggie’s wife who witnessed almost it all. The film also stars Paul Anderson (Sherlock Holmes: A Game Of Shadows) as Albert Donoghue, Christopher Eccleston (Thor: The Dark World) as Nipper Read, Colin Morgan (The Living And The Dead) as Frank Shea, Tara Fitzgerald (Exodus: Gods And Kings) as Mrs. Shea, Adam Fogerty (Snatch) as Pat Connolly, Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service) as Mad Teddy Smith, Shane Attwooll (Kingdom Of Heaven) as George Cornell, Chazz Palminteri (A Bronx Tale) as Angelo Bruno, and the film was directed by Brian Helgeland (A Knight’s Tale).
I have been dying to see this film since the moment I had heard about it and thanks to Redbox, I finally had my chance to view it. I am certainly glad that I did because the film further proves how much acting ability Tom Hardy has and that he is here to stay. For the whole entire film, we are told that Reggie is the normal one and that Ronnie is the one off his rocker. There is a scene at the end where Reggie just snaps and he doesn’t act like how he usually does. Ronnie looks at him and questions why he did it and says he wouldn’t have handled it that way almost making you believe that maybe he isn’t the crazy one anymore. That is until Reggie answers his question and it all makes sense that he was driven to his level. While the film is very good and it met my expectations, I do feel however that it was a little long at times (even though it’s only 2 hours long). The real catch about this film is the acting which is superb from not only Hardy, but from his co-stars Emily Browning, Taron Egerton, etc as they all did an amazing job. The sets were amazing as you felt you were in the east end of London in the 1960’s and the costumes were great too. The film is your typical gangster true story film where it makes them look bad ass while also making them look vulnerable as well. Like all true stories, there is the downfall because not everyone stays at the top. This is definitely a film that is worth checking out if you are a fan of Tom Hardy, British films, and gangster movies. I am going to give the film an A- for a final grade.
There are so many different spy movies in the world today and the question always remains what makes them different than any Bond film ever released. In 2015, they finally released Kingsman: The Secret Service worldwide and I didn’t see it until now. For Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Egerton), there is much point to be a good ole boy when you come from the wrong side of town. That is until you are bailed out of jail by a man (Colin Firth) who claims to have known your father (that you never got to know). Eggsy is recruited to join a very secretive spy organization known as the Kingsmen, a group modeled after King Arthur and his round table. The organization needs a new recruit when one of their own is killed by a mad man named Valentine (Samuel L. Jackson) looking to rid the world of humans because of global warming. Now it’s up to them to save the world before it’s too late. The film also stars Mark Strong (Sherlock Holmes) as Merlin, Jack Davenport (Pirates Of The Caribbean: Curse Of The Black Pearl) as Lancelot, Michael Caine (The Dark Knight) as Arthur, Sofia Boutella (Monsters: Dark Continent) as Gazelle, Mark Hamill (Star Wars: A New Hope) as Professor Arnold, and the film was directed by Matthew Vaughn (Kick-Ass).
The only thing I regret about this movie is that I didn’t see it earlier than this, but better late than never. This is yet another film that I truly enjoyed watching this month and that is kind of the point of this blog. The film has tons of action in it, plenty of that dry British humor that we all love, and a really cool villain. He’s not your stereotypical villain with his lisp, but he has a bad ass hench-woman by his side. The woman has prosthetic’s with swords or blades on the ends of them and she can slice dudes up with them. Kingsman is actually a breath of fresh air for the spy genre for people looking for something different. If the film is a spoof like people say it is then I’ll gladly take another serving of the film from the franchise. If they play their cards right this is definitely a series that could be around for quite some time as long as the writing is good. One of my favorite scenes in the film is definitely when Colin Firth’s character goes into the church and it’s a bloody massacre in there. That is such a cool action sequence that just blew me away. Some of the special effects in the film are very good especially with a head exploding sequence at the end that is very colorful. Oh and Hanna Alström has an amazing asset that she shows off at the end of the film. This is definitely another favorite of mine that is going to make picking a clear and concise top 25 very difficult at the end of the month. With that being said, I am going to give the film an A-/A because it lies somewhere between those two.