Monday, December 16, 2013

Legend (1985)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: William Hjortsberg

Composer: Jerry Goldsmith (European cut), Tangerine Dream (U.S. cut)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennet, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert, Peter O'Farrell, Kiran Shah

More info: IMDb

Tagline: She is of the purest innocence. He is pure evil. He is darkness.

Plot: A magical adventure which features elves, demons and other mythical creatures. Darkness, the personification of evil, plans to disperse eternal night in the land where this story takes place, by killing every unicorn in the world. Although he looks unbeatable, Jack and his friends are disposed to do everything to save the world and princess Lili (who Darkness intends to make his wife) from the hands of this evil monster.

My rating: 6/10

Will I watch it again? No.

I like some Ridley Scott, I like some fantasy, and I likes me some Mia Sara but I don't like this.  I just watched it for the first time.  When it came out nearly 30 years ago I was a teenager and I must have passed it up because of the young adult nature of the fantasy aspect.  Or maybe it was for my then current distaste for synthesizer scores.  I can't remember.  A few nights ago I watched the longer European cut with the orchestral Jerry Goldsmith (one of my favorite composers) score.  What I learned was...

Tom Cruise squats...A LOT!

Mia Sara is smokin' hot (if she's good enough for Ferris Beuller then she's good enough for the rest of us)!

And Tim Curry is fucking badass!!!

The creature effects for Curry's Darkness is astounding.  It's frightening and his performance brings evil to the character.  Had the film been consistently dark like his moments then I would give this a big recommendation.  But it didn't and that's where most of my issues with it lie.  While Tom Cruise may have looked the part, he couldn't act it very well.  I guess maybe if he kept his mouth shut.  The other thing that got to me was the silliness of the secondary characters.  It's too much.  Perhaps if it were a fantasy picture made for adults I could get behind it.  So then I watched the U.S. cut which is shorter and replaces the orchestral score (I liked) with Tangerine Dream's ethereal synthesizer score (I didn't like).  Woof.  What a difference a score makes.  The only thing nice about this cut is that it's a few minutes shorter.  The music rarely works (some of the darker, underworld moments were nice) and there were some poorly edited spots that took me by surprise. And the ending with that song on the U.S. cut...yuck.  Tim Curry and Mia Sara were great as were the darker moments of the story but that's about it.  I've seen both versions and now I can get on with my life.  I should probably watch something sleazy.  It feels like forever.

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