Legend, at it’s core, is a story about about good triumphing over evil. A demon’s plot to destroy the last unicorns and create an eternal night is met with resistance from the chosen champion, Jack and his allies. Ridley Scott directs Tom Cruise as Jack, Mia Sara as Princess Lili, and Tim Curry as Darkness in this mystical fantasy adventure! Let’s consider the pros and cons of Legend…
Pros: Firstly, the special effects team does an outstanding job with Tim Curry’s makeup and prosthetics. Legend’s depiction of “Darkness” is inspired and one of the few things that still holds up well today. Secondly, while they’re not my favorite tones, Scott does an excellent job juxtaposing the desolate atmosphere brought on by Darkness with the hopeful bubbly, glittery fae folk. Lastly, although it seems much longer, this movie is only 1.5 hours. The time investment is minimal, which is important because this isn’t exactly a world you want to loiter around in.
Cons: This may be the darkest PG movie ever. I understand ratings were more lenient in the 80’s, but this movie is filled with nightmare fuel! On a more serious note, save for Tim Curry’s performance, no one’s acting is particularly exceptional. Side characters are constantly used to provide exposition or yada yada past plot holes. One dwarf reveals that he was masquerading as the enemy because “he got more adventure than he bargained for”, and Cruise’s posse welcomes him back with open arms. This is the same dwarf who travelled with the goblin that severed the unicorn’s horn by the way. Overall, the multiple storylines feel disconnected and slapped together by the end of this film.
I give Legend a C+. It’s an 80’s fantasy time capsule, but also a testament to how far Scott and Cruise’s careers have come. If you’re feeling nostalgic this could be a good movie to throw on, but otherwise you might be unpleasantly surprised. Happy Watching!
- Special Effects
“What is light without dark?”