Genre: Fantasy and Sci-fi
Starring: Tom Cruise, Tim Curry, and Mia Sara.
Director: Ridley Scott
Picture It, Christmas 2000
The first time I saw Legend was when it was on TV around Christmas time in 2000. At that time I was only a child and very engrossed with the TV, so when Legend came on, I was quickly hooked with the fantastic visual effects. It had a lovely mystical tone but there was also a dark and alluring one as well. I thought at the time it was different to other films I had seen before. Re-watching this film again, years later, I feel that my opinion has changed quite a lot. Whilst many things I can consider are very positive, I can now see that the film also have a lot of flaws in it as well, despite its nice fairy tale atmosphere.
Price & Availability
I found it on HMV for £5.99 on the 2 for £10 deal. Amazon Prime members can enjoy it for £5.00, but non-amazon members can get it for a lower deal from second-hand sellers on Amazon. A simple eBay search has brought up a £2.41 DVD and a £13.99 Blu-ray.
Be aware when you're looking for this product, you might get the 2012 film under the same name. But that film is very different to this one. By typing Legend 1985, the film should be easy to find at a decent price. They do also show this film on TV channels from time to time.
Legend is a 1985 film directed by Ridley Scott. When it was first released, it wasn't well received, but nearly everybody agreed that Tim Curry was stunning in his role as Darkness. With time, the film has aged really well and now has a strong following. It's a strong fairy-tale story about a young man named Jack and a princess named Lili and their quest to save two unicorns and defeat the satanic lord named Darkness.
I agree with a lot of what critics have said and can see why the film wasn't warmly well received as other fantasy films. I think Hollywood was getting tired of them, they were no longer lucrative and didn't have that Hollywood factor.
I personally liked the film. There are several different versions of the film, and I personally like all of them, but I think the different versions are pointless as it comes across as inconsistent. When I first saw the film as a child, there were quite a lot of things that were scary. This was mainly due to how realistic the make-up was and how Darkness felt authentic with his longing to eternal night and his fully developed personality. Darkness is the strongest character in the film for a good reason. I think many people would not have been invested in this film had it not been for Tim Curry's acting.
I really like a lot of the lines in the film, especially from Tim Curry who plays the villain perfectly in this. Not only is Darkness scary with his hot red bulk and minotaur physique, he also comes across as charming and seductive. When I first watched the film, I had no idea it was Tim Curry in all that make up. I saw Stephen King's It a while ago, but I could still tell Pennywise was being played by Tim Curry. Curry is unrecognisable which shows greatness in the design apartment.
Then there's Mia Sara, who plays Princess Lili. I think she did a good job capturing Lili's innocence and had good chemistry between the actors. It helped make me believe in Lili and Jack's love and her hatred towards Darkness. I like how Lili stands up to Darkness and the role she plays, she shows that she's not the average damsel in distress and shows that she's got some brains.
The film also features a very young Tom Cruise. He rarely mentions this film anymore, maybe due to the fact it's not a big blockbuster like Mission Impossible and Top Gun were. This film was made before he was the famous mega-star he is today. His mega success may have helped towards it, but I don't think it's the reason why people still watch it. I think he did a good job with Jack's character but thought he was a bit too simple in my opinion.
How I Feel About the Film Now
The film offers a great view of a fictional fantasy world with unicorns, goblins, fairies and creatures of the night. I liked the film when I watched it as a child for its scenery and happily ever after. As an adult, I feel that I still like it for more different reasons. I still like the scenery but I also like the big contrasts between the light and the dark. How Lili and Jack still believe in each other despite being accused of sin.
The visual effects and scenery are the best part of the whole movie. But if you take all the visual effects, the scenery, and outstanding acting away, then you're just left with the story. The story itself falls flat on its face. It's a good story, but it doesn't hold a unique selling point on its own.
Young man and princess are in love with each other: very lavish but done many times. Princess sets a challenge to her love interest: whilst trying to retrieve a ring in the pond isn't average, the main premise itself has been done a lot too. It's very formulaic and doesn't do much to break that fairy tale formula that would have made it more unique. The story isn't enough to hold my interest for long.
Legend is a film that's ahead of its time, no doubt about that. It's visually stunning and has a decent cast. Almost everything is spot on, but the story itself is quite shallow. It's predictable and cheesy and corny. I would recommend it overall, as I feel that Tim Curry's performance makes it worth seeing.