Legend | Chicago Reader

Legend

Extensively reedited after its disastrous European premiere, Ridley Scott's expensive 1985 fantasy features Tom Cruise as a fairy-tale hero fighting to free a beautiful princess (Mia Sara) from the clutches of an evil lord of darkness (Tim Curry). An introductory crawl tries to set the minimal plot up as a Manichaean fable of the eternal struggle of good and evil, yet the unimaginative action is anything but cosmic, and Scott's prissy, pseudo-Victorian presentation effectively defuses the sexual themes built into the genre. There's nothing left but a series of pretty but airless soundstage compositions, which Scott is unable to relate spatially—a failing that deprives the film of the crucial sense of a complete, alternate world. It all seems to be taking place in somebody's basement. With David Bennent, Alice Playten, and Billy Barty; the elaborate but unconvincing makeup effects are by Rob Bottin. PG, 89 min.

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