“LEGEND”— Limited Edition, 2-Disc Limited Edition

“LEGEND”

Limited Edition, 2-Disc Limited Edition

Amos Lassen

Director Ridley Scott and writer William Hjortsberg have created a breathtaking cinematic fairytale with one of the screen’s most beautiful depictions of Evil. In an idyllic forest, the pure-hearted Jack (Tom Cruise) takes his true love Princess Lili (Mia Sara) to see a pair of unicorns at the forest’s edge. Little do they know, however, that the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) has dispatched his minions to capture the unicorns and cut off their horns so that he may take the world into everlasting night. After Lili and the unicorns are taken prisoner, Jack must form a group of forest creatures and enter Darkness’ subterranean lair to deal with the devilish creature before it is too late. “Legend” has been restored to Scott’s original cut to give us his unique vision of a world beyond our imagination.

The plot and other aspects of the film  are somewhat problematic, however yet we get a hint that “Legend” could have been something truly special on all counts, but  it never quite made it. 

Set in a fantasy universe, the film opens with the Lord Of Darkness upset that something as pure and good as unicorns still exists in the forests. He sends one of his followers off to try and destroy them, as he himself is so evil he can’t go out in the sun and do it himself. In the forest is nature-boy Jack  who is friends with a beautiful princess. He takes her to see the unicorns, but when she breaks the rules of the forest and touches one of the animals, she may have sealed the world’s fate and that an age of darkness is soon to come.

This leads Jack on a quest that brings him into contact with all kinds of characters in a bid to save the world – and possibly the Princess too from going into darkness.

It’s a fairly simple story and to be honest it suffers for that. The script assumes that because this is a fantasy world, everything will be taken on faith. Jack’s a forest boy, but we never really learn what that means, and we never really find out what Mia Sara is the princess of. Everything feels random and it’s difficult to truly care about what happens and this is a shame because of the visual feast that the movie presents. This fantasy world never goes deep. The film is amazing to watch but it is frustrating because so much is not explained.

Absolute evil is pitted against absolute good  in a battle for the soul of the land. It all hinges on a pair of unicorns, one of which is made vulnerable by the touch of a beautiful but foolish princess. Fascinating in the way only a wrongheaded film by a great filmmaker can be, there is beautiful imagery, but the story keeps it in the  land of kitsch.

Much of this is due to the dullness of the characters. Mia Sara’s princess is one of those celebrated visions of loveliness but she has no personality at all, though she does undergo a shift into something more interesting toward the end. Tom Cruise’s earnest young hero is sweet but bland. Tim Curry gets the plum role, hamming it up gloriously as the demon Darkness, but he’s hampered by a costume that undermines the imagery of the film. But I love this film even with all if my criticism.

Some of the special features include:

  • Theatrical Cut Isolated Score: Also of interest is the disc’s Isolated Music Score, which features uncut music cues by Tangerine Dream. While the cues fall out of sync with the picture on occasion, they’ve been intentionally preserved to focus on as much of the music as possible. Other scenes incorporate alternate cues that were not used in the final film.
  • Creating a Myth: The Making ofLegend (SD, 51 minutes): Strange, lyrical opening aside, “Creating a Myth” is a terrific behind-the-scenes documentary that charts the course of the film’s production, from its earliest stages of development to its enduring legacy as a fantasy film. Key members of the cast and crew are on hand to discuss anything and everything fans could possibly want to learn about, and little ground is left uncovered.
  • Lost Scenes(SD, 13 minutes): Two scenes are available — “Alternate Opening: Four Goblins” and “The Faerie Dance” — both of which look every bit as terrible and incomplete as you might imagine. two unfinished, long-lost scenes would.
  • Music Video(SD, 5 minutes): Bryan Ferry’s “Is Your Love Strong Enough.”
  • Photo Gallery(HD): More than ninety images are included.
  • Theatrical Trailers(SD, 3 minutes)
  • TV Spots(SD, 2 minutes)

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