Having said that, you'd possibly expect more than what you get here. However, good special effects and various creature creations always gathers my interest. We don't really get that anymore, so this is an example of something you look back on and think hey, this is kind of cool.
Ridley Scott at his best before he started making more serious affairs but clearly shows that he is the master for visual fair and knows exactly how to make things look right and real and that's what is so amazing with 'Legend', it does look completely real, a stunning dream and work of art from start to finish.
Cruise is abit wet though haha.
Okay, from what I can look at, this is a film that has a past that is similar to that of Sergio Leone's Once Upon A Time In America in the sense of how it was released. This film was originally around two and a half hours long, told a great epic fantasy that is not really for kids, and was just wonderful. When this film was released in America, new scenes were filmed, the sequences were changed around, and that version was a complete mess. Thankfully, the first version I saw was the directors cut and having seen both versions, I can safely say that the extra thirty minutes is much needed. Now, I first became aware of this film through my brother when he first got the film on DVD. Now, I was never originally interested in this film until I grew older and started to have a heart for fantasy films. When I saw this film, there were a few things that shocked me. The main thing is just how beautiful this film is. I am not joking. The production on this film, the colors used, the flowers, animals, water, and snow along with the shadows and darkness look so magnificent that you find yourself just staring at the scenes then really paying attention to the story. So, when this film ended, I left with a feeling of happiness that one can only achieve when they see something in nature that is so beautiful that words can never describe it. Now for the details. With direction, this is a rather mixed bag for Ridley Scott. Now, do not get me wrong, Ridley Scott is a great director in his own right. But with this film, he appears not to have his head on what he wants to work on: visuals or story. With this film, it is obvious that he works more on the look and feel of the film, but with the story, while attention is paid their, it just feels like that this film's true potential with the story was not reached. A bit disappointing for me. With story, this film had a lot going for it and was able to accomplish some of it. But, didn't. From what I was told, there was a longer, more explicit version of the script that due to numerous reasons, could not be filmed. One has to wonder what would of happened if Ridley Scott did film the entire script. Next for the acting. With this film, there are only three people I am going to talk about: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, and Tim Curry. First Cruise. I know this is a little cliched to say, but I am going to go down saying that I have respect for Cruise as an actor because he CAN act and this film proves it. From the start of this film as we see him as this pure spirit to fighting the Lord Of Darkness himself, Cruise makes the character of Jack believable and we feel the urgency of his quest through out the film. Now, is Cruise's performance Academy Award winning? No. But is it impressive? Yes. Next is Mia Sara. I will be honest: I did not like her at all in this film. This is the only film I have seen her in and maybe I am being a little harsh on her, but she was just bad in this film. Her acting was not convincing, her singing voice was not that good, and she was just a disappointment. Now, she is bearable in this film, but they could have picked a different actress for this role. The main reason for all of this is because she is passed off as someone with only three emotions: Love sick, sad, and happy. That is all. No depth, nothing to look forward to, just nothing. Finally Tim Curry. Oh boy, where do I begin with him. Well, after Curry worked on the much loved The Rocky Horror Picture Show as Dr. Frank N' Furter, Ridly Scott saw his acting ability and thought it would be best to put him in this film. But one catch: Except for the voice, you will not recognize him as he is fifteen feet tall, has red muscled suit on (that actually looks pretty damn impressive), two giant black horns that reach out of his head, the hindquarters of a goat, and these yellow contact lenses that completely conceal him. Now, in the director's cut, you do not see him until the last thirty minutes, but even then, he steals the entire show. His acting is beyond great, he is terrifying in this role, and he literally becomes the devil himself. Next the score. With this film, there are two scores: One by Tangerine Dream and another by Jerry Goldsmith. The one I am going to talk about is Goldsmith's score. While Dream's score is actually good, the director's cut features and more real, more natural score by Goldsmith that is breathtaking. The only way for me to describe this score is to imagine the scenery of this film in the form of music and then you understand how wonderful it is. Finally the script. Due to numerous cuts being made, the script is uneven as mess. I mean, the overall plot and story are there, but things like some character development, the fleshing out of some characters, and more background into this world would of benefited greatly. But the one thing I will admit I like is the dialogue. The dialogue has a feel of old English mixed with modern and it works just wonderfully with this type of story. But while that is great and while the look may be phenomenal, it does not excuse lazy story telling and poor character development. Overall, this is a beautiful film with two great performances and a wonderful score, but it does leave to be desired. If you watch this film, watch the directors cut. The American edit is just terrible.
People either love it or hate it, but I sorta managed to be a bit in the middle (mostly). I've watched both the U.S. theatrical version and the director's cut/international version.I think I like the latter more, but only slightly (or at least slightly enough to sorta recommend it).
The story concerns a young hero who is forced to rescue his love (and a unicorn) from the Lord Of Darkness. The plot is that of the typical quest, and the story and script are not really all that good or remarkable. What works best though, are the art direction, set design, make up effects, music, and Tim Curry's performance as the villain. The rest is really wooden undercooked and not all that interesting.
Thankfully though, the director's cut rectifies some of these issues. It doesn't have better acting from the non Curry performers (although Sara is okay, and looks badass as the 'dark' version of her character). I thought Tangerine Dream's score from the theatrical cut was not bad, but Jerry Goldsmith's restored score is far better. The director's cut also actually improves upon the story, providing something more fleshed out and less sloppily handled. It's not a masterpiece but there's some more depth to things at least.
Still, despite all that I liked, I'm not really completely won over by this film. The fantasy genre just isn't really my thing. I don't hate it, but it's just not somehting I can really get into all that easily (there are some exceptions though). You might like this film, but stick with the director's cut. It's still silly and rather typical of this sort of thing, but it's not as choppy you can tell that it's a more complete picture. 3 stars for the theatrical cut, 3.5 for the director's cut.
Jack: I'm afraid you'll break my heart.
Princess Lily: Then still your heart, for you are dear to me.
A pretty lame fantasy film that unfortunately wastes its very good production values. I'm a big fan of Ridley Scott, but his work here places style over substance in a way that leads to a very non-entertaining feature.
The story is pretty standard, set in a magical land, a force of evil works to take over. A young Tom Cruise and his band of friends that include some little people, an overdubbed little boy, and a fairy look to stop this evil force, as well as rescue a princess who is at least partly responsible for the problems to begin with. Magical adventures and hijinks ensue.
I was very much tempted to turn this film off at several points, with only the promise of a villainous Tim Curry keeping me going. The whole film is such a bland watch. Only the activity happening on the dark side seemed interesting. Cruise and his band of merry men just bored me. Mia Sara as the princess was also bothersome, with her desire to sing only pushing me to want to turn it off sooner.
The set design, makeup, and costumes certainly show that a lot of work was done to make the film look good, but having watched Blade Runner within the same week, one can certainly see how this film just doesn't do a good job of balancing out its production design with an intriguing story.
There are better fantasy flicks than this one, more specifically there are better 80s fantasy flicks than this.
Meg Mucklebones: What a fine fat boy you are, Jack!
Jack: You don't really mean to eat me, do you, ma'am?
Meg Mucklebones: Oh, indeed I do!
Jack: That would be a shame because someone as fair and lovely as yourself, Miss Meg, deserves far better than scrawny me. Don't you think?
Meg Mucklebones: Think me fair, do you, Jack?
Jack: All the heavenly angels must envy your beauty.
Meg Mucklebones: [cackles] What a fine meal you'll make, be the rest of you as sweet as your tongue!
The premise is basic, yet complex. Darkness (Tim Curry), needs an eternal night so that he can live in full power, dominating the world. What is hindering him,is the presence of the unicorns, the sacred beasts, that the very essence of good in the world depends upon. Darkness devises a plan to lure one of the beasts through princess Lily, an innocent princess in love with a mystical woodsman called Jack (Tom Cruise). Jack takes Lily to see the unicorns one day, thinking no harm will come of it, yet darkness' lead goblin, Blix, is following behind and tracking them. Lily violates the ultimate rule, She, as a mortal, touches a unicorn, disrupting th very fabric that their world hinges upon, plunging the world into winter. To add insult to injury, the Goblins find the unicorn that she touched, and chop off her horn, where her power lies. The unicorn freezes in the snow and dies after this, while Blix returns with his scheming goblins, enjoying the new found power of the horn, coveting it for himself. darkness intercepts them during the night and takes the horn. Mia and Jack have been separated from each other in the dark and cold. Jack, while in the forest, meets a group of magical creatures, their leader, Gump, who appears like a child, but is incredibly powerful. He informs Jack of what he has done, and this sets off the quest to make things right.
Before I address the qualitative aspects of the film, I wish to say that this film is as blatantly biblically allegorical as the Choronicles of Narnia. But i will leave the viewer to the tie those knots.
As always, with Ridley Scott, the film is wonderfully shot, and, gleefully pleasing to fans like me, all of his trademarks are there, including his infamous fluff floating in the air! The visual style of the film is striking, and sometime you are paying so much attention to it, that for a few seconds, you forget about the story. The sets are beautiful, and sometimes Gothic, and frightening(especially inside the giant tree where Darkness dwells). You watch the film and end up wishing to live in the magical world (while it is not in peril, at least). The acting, is nothing special, but the job is done, with all of the actors putting forward a convincing performance. Tom Cruise,however,is surprisingly good in this movie! Mia Sara serves here role as Princess Lily, although I used to think of it as a sub par performance, it gets better with more viewings, she was only 15 when she landed the role too, which she had to be very gutsy and talented to pull off. Did I say the acting is nothing special? Well, That was a blatant falsehood when it comes to Tim Curry as Darkness! He is frightening, dark,and one of the best villains I have ever seen. He is an allegorical portrayal of Satan, and a fabulous one at that.
Jerry Goldsmith's score (of the fabulous director's cut), is as always, fantastic, this is possibly his best score to date, Rest In Peace Jerry, we will miss you.
I need to say that if you are planning to view the film, watch the Director's cut, and avoid the US theatrical edition . Also, you have to enter the film, with an open mind, as it is a Fairy Tale. Enjoy the film for what it is, this is why it is so under rated, I suspect. The cliché fairy tale rhyming and lines are part of the genre and should be accepted, not condemned.
This is a fabulous film. I wish this forgotten masterpiece could garner a second chance, because it certainly deserves it.
At least it decided to be scary and menacing at times, to give it an edge. And Tim Curry as, "Darkness" (read, Satan) is pretty confusing, albiet well acted. So, his idea of "wooing" is a billowy experimental dance around a dinner table? Hmm...