Legend (1985)

Run Time: 1 hr 34 min
Rating: PG
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 42%/73%

Legend is a Fantasy Adventure film that was directed by none of than Ridley Scott! Yes, the same Ridley Scott that directed cinema classics such as: Alien, Blade Runner, Thelma and Louise, American Gangster, G.I. Jane, and the list goes on and on. Legend stars a young Tom Cruise and one of my favorites, Tim Curry. I picked this film to review for one reason…Nostalgia. I was only 4 years old when this movie came out and while I do not remember how old I was when I first saw this movie, I did remember two very distinct things that had life changing effects on me…the Unicorns and Darkness. I can remember watching this movie and afterwards wanting to see a Unicorn in real life. You could not tell me that Unicorns did not exist (I also had a strong desire to change my name to Star and fly into outer space on my pet Unicorn but that’s a whole other story). My fascination with Unicorns was short lived but I still have to give credit to Legend for that. And the villian, Darkness…Oh…My…God! Til this day I am convinced that is what Lucifer looks like. That costume used to scare the crap out of me and is actually the reason I stopped believing in Santa (true story). I will go into more detail of Curry’s portrayal of Darkness later but let me just say, that man can act! It was just fun to revisit this film but has this film held up over time and is it something that children should watch now?

The Good:

So let’s just get to it…Tim Curry has yet to disappoint me. The way he brought Darkness to life was so eerily good that it is hard to believe that there is an actual man inside that costume and not the actual Lord of Darkness. Curry is such a good actor that it is hard to to imagine that he also played Pennywise (IT), Dr. Frank-N-Furter(Rocky Horror Picture Show), Wadsworth (Clue), and Roger Corwin (Scary Movie 2). All uniquely different characters that he played so well that we could not imagine another actor bringing these characters to life. While the Lord of Darkness was not as scary 33 years later, it was still amazing to see the detail in the costume design, which is something that filmmakers today have gotten a bit lazy with (thanks to CGI).

Another good thing about this movie is honestly, the simplicity of the film. The plot is quite simple, the Lord of Darkness wants to curse the Earth so he can rule over it in total darkness. However, two magical Unicorns still roam the Earth and their pure light prevents him from leaving his world (Hell, let’s just say what it s) and cursing the Earth forever. So, he wants to kill the Unicorns so he can rule the Earth and a band of brave forest creatures attempt to stop him. That’s it. I mean, there’s a cute little love story going on but it has very little to do with the main plot. When you think about Fantasy films today and how they travel over many lands throughout the film, it is pretty neat to see a film where everything is happening in the same location. It really felt more like I was watching a stage play versus a major motion picture.

The Bad:

It’s hard to take Legend very seriously especially with the simplicity of the plot and whimsical nature of the film. Well, there are moments in this film when Ridley Scott took it very seriously and the film started to feel like a art house film with deep symbolism and dramatic slow motion sequences. Those moments when the film got really deep with it’s dramatic music and imagery I honestly started laughing. Quite frankly, this film did not call for all of that and I am convinced that Ridley Scott took these liberties because he was just testing out different things to see what could work when he got his hands on a larger budget.

Overall Rating:

There’s no need to dwell on the bad with this film because it’s so old and compared to what we have to watch now days it just doesn’t compare. However, this movie was still fun to watch (I would not mind seeing a Ridley Scott reboot of this film). I enjoyed myself, I laughed at the parts that called for it, and was happy when the Unicorns had a happy ending. I don’t think kids today would enjoy this one but kids now days are weird as shit anyway, so who cares what they like?! This Sista Gurl suggests you get some popcorn, a glass of kool-aid, and put on your favorite footy pajamas and have an old school movie night featuring Legend!


2 thoughts on “Legend (1985)

  1. One of my all time favorite fantasy films. One thing the 80’s did pretty damn well, was the fantasy genre (Neverending Story, for example). It does show its age, but still holds up pretty well in my opinion. And Tim Curry did his damn thing! He made evil charming, and almost likeable, lol!
    (And the makeup effects for Darkness were great!)

    I was almost afraid to read the review, because this movie also has sentimental value to me, but you’ve done a great job with it… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This film is also near and dear to my heart, as you can see, so there is no way I could have bashed it! It’s crazy how much fun I had watching this movie again. And you are so right, the 80s did the Fantasy genre right! I forgot to mention how much this movie clearly influenced Lord of the Rings


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