“As long as unicorns rule the earth, evil can never come to the pure of heart.”
[Note: The following review is of a non-Peary title; click here to read more.]
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
This film, however, is all about the magical universe it presents — and to that end, it’s hard not to be impressed. Twenty years before the emergence of Peter Jackson’s (clearly superior) Lord of the Rings trilogy, Scott and his team crafted a remarkably haunting mystical landscape which Richard Scheib of the Moria review site refers to as “sumptuously textural” and “achingly beautiful”; filled with eerily “realistic” creatures, including elves and fairies and Tim Curry’s horrifically gruesome Lord of Darkness (those horns!). Scheib, a clear fan of the film, calls the movie (which was lambasted by most mainstream critics) an “extraordinary synthesis of production design, cinematography, editing and effects” — and it’s actually hard to disagree with this specific assessment, given that he doesn’t try to make any claims about the narrative. Regarding the performances, Cruise isn’t all that memorable, but Sara is lovely and fine in her screen debut (she’s perhaps best known for playing Ferris Bueller’s girlfriend the following year), and Curry’s performance is a stand-out.
Note: In 2002, Legend was released on DVD in two different versions: the original, shorter, American theatrical release (with a synthesized score by Tangerine Dream), and the longer director’s cut (with a score by Jerry Goldsmith). I watched the original — trying to remain faithful to the version Peary might/would have seen around the time he was writing GFTFF — and loved the score, but took a brief look at the other version and liked Goldsmith’s score just as well, in a different way. In my opinion, the “score” (ha) is ultimately even between the two.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments: