Everest

I followed recommendations and made a special journey to see this on the biggest screen I could – which meant IMAX 3D.Technically amazing; I can’t even begin to imagine how most of this was filmed. As a feat of film-making, it is beyond anything I’ve seen this year.

And yet I failed to be drawn in to any of the stories being told. Perhaps because there were so many individuals involved that I couldn’t get to know any of them well enough. Perhaps because, once they were all suited up, I couldn’t tell who was who.

True, it was heartbreaking to see how people lost their fight with the mountain and the elements, and I was not un-moved watching this. But this was because of the knowledge that it was actual people who died (and continue to do so), not specifically those characters whose story this was, as I didn’t feel invested in their particular story any more than anyone else’s.

 

Legend

If you’re looking for a gritty, dirty tale of the exploits of two out and out criminals from the east end of London, then this isn’t it.

The clue is in the title; the story of the Kray twins is the stuff of legend (at least in the UK – I wonder if their story is as known in the US or elsewhere) and the film almost glamourises the pair, giving us a (yes, violent but also) glamorous presentation of the shenanigans of these two brothers.

That’s not a bad thing, if you’re looking to be entertained. For this is entertaining, if not truthful. Don’t dig too deep, and you’ll have fun with it – and a few laughs too.

Tom Hardy in dual roles is more than twice as good as two separate actors. He’s a safe pair of hands for the charming business-man side of the duo Reggie. He’s also good as the paranoid schizophrenic Ronnie, who is a much more interesting character but whose surface is barely scratched. With Reggie, there’s not too much to understand but Ronnie, well he’s something else entirely. Hardy is fabulous.

The biggest problem is the voice-over. Annoying at the start, it ends up being a total mis-step which undermines any perspective it was meant to represent.

Glamour not grit.