Friday, 18 November 2011

Space: Legend Review

Fig. 1

‘Legend’ (1985) is writhe with a huge mix of opinions and critique ranging from great acclaim to disappointed smuts. The film directed by Ridley Scott is in essence a dark fairy tale in which the world is plunged into darkness “This is a movie about a Puck-like character named Jack (Tom Cruise, before he hit it really big) who wages war against the Lord of Darkness, a demon seeking to create eternal night in his fantasy kingdom by marrying the local princess (Mia Sara) and killing the last of the unicorns. A quest naturally follows, with the goal of saving the princess -- and along the way, the world.” (Unknown 2009) On the surface at least, there is a possibility for an interesting film with twists and turns and an exciting adventure.

However it is difficult to fully determine where the film is leading and whether it is a serious adventure or a childish fairy tale “On the one hand, Legend is essentially a movie for children. After all, it features a lot of children with fairy wings stuck to their backs. (Often it feels as if one is stuck in a primary school pantomime!) In addition, the plot is simplistic and some of the dialogue and characters quite juvenile. On the other hand, Legend is so heavy-handed in its approach that it isn’t a whole lot of fun at all. Its depiction of evil is so intense and scary, that the little ones would probably be begging their parents to please switch off the TV!” (Unknown 2010) The lighter side of the film consists of the Elfish counterparts, whose dialogue is mostly comedic and gentle, and there is some resemblance to the seven dwarfs from ‘Snow White’ as the happy little dwarfs bring laughter, sometimes unnecessarily, to the film tp lighten the mood and reinforce the fairy tale atmosphere. The film also holds dark elements, for example the scene in which the unicorn is in chains and slowly being dragged to its death may not be suitable for younger viewers.  Also, the scene in which the princess is dancing with the evil ‘which’ is in a way inappropriate for a fairy tale film as there is a strange darkness to the scene which may hint towards more adult themes as the darkness overcomes her mind.

It seems as if the film struggles to come through as one definitive film, as there are many things that appear to be out of place. Ridley Scott’s handling of the material (which was written by William Hjortsberg, author of Falling Angel) seems a bit confused. He uses production design, costumes, lighting, and makeup to suggest a sumptuous world of magic and wonder, but he cannot quite embrace the simple morality of the fairy tale form. Instead, he undercuts it with cheap jokes and modern vernacular in the dialogue. (”Adios, amigos!” cries one unfortunate henchman as he is dragged down into darkness. The line not only fails to get a laugh; it ruins what should have been a dramatic moment.)” (Biodrowski 2009) This scene should prove to be a dramatic statement and emphasise the nature of the dark lord as he would willingly kill one of his henchmen without hesitation. But this simple line completely disrupts the tension and makes the action a joke rather than a statement. Little things such as this can really ruin a film as it means the viewer cannot be completely consumed by the story as it is broken up by unnecessarily. In all I think that, despite the films potential, the end result is very disappointing and the film is not one to recommend on it value as an altogether film.


Unknown, (2009) (Accessed on 15/11/11)

Unknown (2010) (Accessed on 15/11/11)

Image List:
Fig.1 Legend DVD Cover,

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