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Skipping their rise and fall, Tom Hardy (BRONSON) playing both Kray brothers as they punch, charm and shout their way through Swinging London. Actual events may have been altered but this is legendary crime at its most entertaining.


There’s a slightly altered quote from an old western that goes: “If you have to choose between fact and legend – print the legend!” The Kray twins were living legends. Reggie and Ronnie were hood giants in 1960s London. As night club owners, they were photographed with the stars and interviewed by TV while the cops always had an eye on them for racketeering. Being holed up in separate cells for 30 years for murder did not keep them away from the headlines.
A film version was inevitable and the brothers Kemp (Spandau Ballet) played them in a conventional gangster story. Brian Helgeland and viewers get socked in the face with a cloned Tom Hardy. There is no danger of mistaking the twins in Tom Hardy’s version of the Kray brothers. Reggie is the perfectly dressed, charming straight man who woos young Frances (Emily Browning) and has to then promise to give up crime. Ronnie usually has his mouth slightly open, loves men, enjoys violence, and is astoundingly well-read. The brothers are two sides of a criminal coin and there’s a spectacular brawl between them as well. Helgeland isn’t very interested in social realism or psychology. Instead, he depicts London as a stage for a cool urban western. It’s often funnier and less brutal than you would imagine, always dramatic, and never boring at 131 minutes. With such a main attraction the film can be forgiven for giving the supporting characters the short end of the stick. It’s all about the big, colorful Ron & Reggie show.

Christian Klose

Translation: Elinor Lewy


Großbritannien/Frankreich 2015, 131 min
Genre: Gangster Film, Thriller
Director: Brian Helgeland
Author: Brian Helgeland
DOP: Dick Pope
Montage: Peter McNulty
Music: Carter Burwell
Distributor: Studiocanal
Cast: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Paul Anderson
FSK: 16
Release: 07.01.2016




  • OV Original version
  • OmU Original with German subtitles
  • OmeU Original with English subtitles

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