Ridley segues from the unicorn in Blade Runner, to the unicorns, faeries and goblins of Legend. In an enchanted forest, Jack (Tom Cruise) and Lily (Mia Sara) battle the forces of darkness, as personified by, well, Darkness (Tim Curry). As much an homage to classic Disney films as it is to adventure stories like The Hobbit, Ridley places his stamp on the fantasy genre.
I’m left wondering who the target audience for this movie is, since it plays like a bedtime story read by a serial killer. On top of every non-human character being completely hideous, the photography is so dark that even the supposedly idyllic opening scenes look like outtakes from The Godfather. On the commentary track, Ridley mentions that the movie is appropriate for the whole family, and also how the murderous gimp character is modeled on Leatherface from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre; Apparently, Sir Ridley is as confused about his own movie as I am. Not to say that you can’t have a dark fantasy story, but the story is simultaneously about as simplistic as you can get, as if aimed at young children.
Tim Curry is iconic and awesome; Truly the most memorable element to come out of this film. The brilliant Rob Bottin does all the makeup fx in this, and as usual creates some interesting creatures.
I decided to watch the Director’s Cut, or European version. I like both versions, but this one feels more like a real movie, while the Tangerine Dream score in the US cut gives it more of a trippy, music video quality.
It’s weird, and it doesn’t completely work; But I LIKE that it’s weird and doesn’t completely work! Sadly, this is the point at which the Scott brothers abandon the realm of sci-fi/fantasy, and begin to make crime pictures and period dramas.
8 out of 10