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8/10/12

LEGEND - REVIEW


Legend is one of those movies you remember watching as a kid but don't remember what it was even about. Thinking back to it I could only picture a young Tom Cruise wearing no pants, Tim Curry's demonic villain and... unicorns?

It turns out the movie's about a young princess who decides to be an idiot one day and screw up the very balance of nature and everything that's good in the world leaving some young Peter Pan-esque dude to set-off on a quest to sort it all out. Hm, girls back then weren't given the best parts, were they? But yeah, because she touches one of only two sacred unicorns in the universe, this alerts what is essentially the Devil (aka Darkness) and his goblin minions and they're soon on the way to destroy them and their pure, good-hearted human fans. She also throws some ring out into a river and Baby Cruise, because he's so damn in love (read: NUTS), jumps off a cliff to try and retrieve it. When he finally comes out of the water to find that nature's all over the place due to his beloved's foolishness, then the film really kicks-off.

Ridley Scott directs this mostly odd fantasy and does a great job setting up this world, bringing a strong, textured, unique visual style to the film but also making us care about what happens to it. It's a great-looking movie with some stunning make-up effects (Tim Curry is unrecognizable), impressive sets and a beautiful score. A flop upon its release, it has gained something of a cult following probably thanks to VHS rentals. I sure remember renting that one loads as kid even though I had no idea what was going on. I just liked looking at it. When you think about it, Legend is really more of a fairy-tale for adults... with annoying little friendly trolls. The Darkness is probably one of THE horniest villains you'll ever encounter in a movie. Man that guy wants to get laid...

I do find the movie messy though, I must say.

After the basic plot is finally set in motion, nothing terribly memorable happens until near the end, really. Cruise's Jack puts on the armor and then... a bunch of stuff happens... then the girl dresses up all goth and it's great again! But by then you feel like you've been in a cave for 45 minutes with the cast of Willow and Ethan Hunt's little brother. The film also has these weird tonal shifts where one second it's like a Disney-style kids' musical and the next it's a dark Labyrinth-esque quest. You never get to really know your main character, which is a bit of a shame since he's meant to be our savior in this story, and the movie gets strangely trippy in places. It flies into some off-beat tangents every once in a while, which is cool since it makes it even more entertaining but it can be distracting at times.

Overall, this may not be Scott's best or even the best example of that genre but it's definitely worth giving it a watch. Once at least. You probably won't remember everything about it the next day but you'll enjoy it while it lasts.

An atmospheric, sparkly oddity.

I'm not kidding: it's sparkly as f***.

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