One of Tom Hardy’s greatest movies is on TV tonight
It's also one of the best gangster films of recent years.
It’s not really a controversial statement to say that Tom Hardy is one of the greatest actors working today.
He completely throws himself into roles, bringing a different physicality and voice to every character. Just compare the wisecracking, unhinged Bronson to the strangely reminded Bane in The Dark Knight Rises, his dignified fighter pilot in Dunkirk, his quietly troubled everyman in Locke and his almost unintelligible role in The Revenant.
Possibly his most impressive achievement, however, is portraying both Ronnie and Reggie Kray in Legend, which is on Film 4 tonight. The notorious Kray twins terrorised London in the 1960s, mixing with the rich and famous before both being imprisoned for life for the murder of fellow gangster Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie.
Legend is far from the first time the Krays’ story has been put on screen - they were famously portrayed by real-life brothers Martin and Gary Kemp in 1990’s The Krays.
But Hardy plays both Ronnie and Reggie himself and the result is utterly seamless. It’s not just down to computer trickery either - Hardy somehow manages to become two completely different people. Despite looking alike, you would never compare the cool, composed Reggie with the awkward, psychotic Ronnie. They way they talk, the way they move - it’s all different.
It’s not just Hardy that is great in the film though. He’s backed up by a great supporting cast including Emily Browning, David Thewlis and Christopher Eccleston.
It’s also written and directed by Brian Helgeland, who won an Oscar for writing the brilliant LA Confidential, and perfectly captures the sights and sounds of swinging sixties London.
Legend is on Film 4 at 9pm tonight.