Saturday, November 28, 2015


          Based on the true story of Reggie and Ronnie Kray, the new crime drama tries hard to reach the level of "Goodfellas" but ends up a British version of the recent Boston true crime film "Black Mass". Instead of Whitey Bolger, here we have the infamous Kray twins running crime in London and keeping Scotland Yard off their backs.

          Easily the best thing about the film and the reason to see it is the fantastic performance of Tom Hardy as both Kray twins. Sure, the digital magic of CGI plays a big part in the scenes where they share the screen (and even fight each other) but Mr. Hardy inhabits both roles so completely, it's a marvel to watch. The brothers couldn't be more different and yet Mr. Hardy brings them both to life equally with the help of precision direction by Brian Helgeland. With every film he does, Mr. Hardy's immersion into his diversity of roles continue to show the strength of his acting. Co-starring are Emily Browning as Francis, the love interest of Reggie Kray and Christopher Eccleston as Nipper Read, the detective that doggedly pursues the brothers. 

           Mr. Helgeland, who also wrote the screenplay, does a nice job recreating '60's London but keeps the film relatively intimate, filming many scenes in the same locations. At two hours, the film wears out it's welcome and easily could have been a bit shorter. More than just a crime story, it's really a character study of two brothers locked in a love/hate relationship that ultimately brings them down.

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