Tom Hardy is doubly mesmerising in the dual roles of East End gangster twins Reggie and Ronnie Kray in this brazen crime biopic.
The film takes an unashamedly mythic approach to the brothers’ exploits as they blaze their way across Swinging Sixties London, which is fine when it comes to showing the Krays carving out their underworld territory but less successful when it comes to conveying what made them tick. Having the film narrated in voiceover by Emily Browning’s Frances Shea, the emotionally fragile teenager Reggie wooed and wed, doesn’t offer any real insight into their psyches, either.
Still, Hardy is terrific, whether conveying the slick Reggie’s ‘gangster prince’ swagger or the psychopathic Ronnie’s menacing volatility. His head-turning performances are so good, in fact, that it’s easy to forget the gimmicky casting and camera trickery and simply enjoy the acting fireworks.