You know, I find it kind of funny that this is today’s movie. The reason I find it funny is because I spent Thanksgiving with my mom and brothers, like I usually do. Now my mom is a HUGE Tom Cruise fan and as a kid growing up, I saw just about every one of his movies with her. However, just like everyone else, she has her favorite and her least favorite movies that people are in, and today’s movie happens to be one of her least favorite ones. So allow me to present a Tom Cruise movie that my mom doesn’t like, Legend.
The plot: A long time ago, the Lord of Darkness is tired of being forced to stay in the shadows and makes plans to force an eternal darkness on the world. He summons a goblin named Blix and orders him to go out with his goblins and kill the last two unicorns and bring back the horns. Elsewhere, Princess Lily grabs some food and heads out into the forest to meet her friend Jack, a forest boy that knows the language of the forest animals. Jack has been teaching Lily the languages of the animals and today he says he has a surprise for her, and takes her deep into the forest, where they see the two unicorns. Though Jack begs her not to, Lily goes towards the unicorns, spooking one of them and causing it to run around her in an attempt to scare her off. When the unicorn calms down, Lily sings to it and reaches out to touch it, but Brix, who had been following Lily since she entered the forest, shoots the unicorn with a poisoned dart and the unicorns run off. As Lily tries to ease Jack’s fears by singing to him, the goblins chase after the unicorns. Lily discusses her feelings for Jack and, removing her ring from her finger, says she will marry whoever finds it. When the ring falls off a cliff into the pond below, Jack jumps into the water searching for it. However, the poisoned unicorn collapses and the goblins cut off it’s horn, causing the pond, and the forest, to freeze up. Jack manages to break free from the frozen water but Lily, frightened by the sudden storm, has already fled and finds shelter in a frozen cottage. Looking outside, she sees the goblins approaching and hides as they enter the cottage, talking about how they must find the other unicorn. Back in the forest, Jack is approached by an elf named Honeythorn Gump, who is angered when he learns about Jack taking Lily to see the unicorns. After solving a riddle to earn the fairyfolk’s forgiveness, Jack, Gump, and the others head off to see if the unicorns are alright. They soon discover the dead unicorn, with the second one standing guard over it. When Jack finds out from the unicorn what he must do, Gump has a dwarf named Brown Tom guard the last unicorn while he, a fairy named Oona, and another dwarf named Screwball lead Jack to where he can find some magic weapons. They reach a hidden treasure trove and Oona leads Jack inside, where she reveals her true form and begs Jack to save them. Darkness meets Blix and when he finds out that they only killed the stallion, he sends one of them, Blunder, flying into a pit and orders the others to capture the mare. Lily overhears this and tries to warn Brown Tom, but the goblins arrive and knock the dwarf out before capturing Lily and the mare. When Jack and the others arrive, Brown Tom tells them what happened and they follow the goblins, eventually reaching an ancient temple in the swamp. They are attacked by a hag named Meg, but Jack is able to defeat her. They continue to Darkness’ lair, but end up falling into a pit trap and land in a dungeon. They find Blunder, who is actually a dwarf, who tells them that they will be cooked if they are not quiet, just before he is grabbed by the cooks and cooked into a pie. Jack asks Oona to help them escape and she says she will if she kisses her, but he refuses and she gets angry, but still gets the keys and frees them from the cell and they split up to try to find the dungeons. Darkness finds himself attracted to Lily and makes plans to tempt her, in order to turn him into a creature of darkness. Lily finds herself running through the fortress when Oona spots her and begins following her. Lily winds up in Dakness’ chamber, where he tempts her with jewelry and gowns, but when Darkness appears, she rejects him. Jack, Gump, and Oona overhear their conversation, and hear Darkness say that sunlight can kill him, which gives Jack an idea. Meeting up with Brown Tom and Screwball, who have found the mare, the group head into the kitchen, where the rescue Blunder, then proceed to grab all of the platters from the shelves, which they plan to use to reflect sunlight. They accidentally wake the two cooks, but Jack is able to beat them and they continue with their plan, with Screwball offering to climb to the top of the tower in order to reflect the sunlight into the fortress. Meanwhile, Darkness continues to try and tempt Lily but she continues to refuse him. Suddenly, Lily agrees to marry Darkness, but only if she can kill the unicorn. As the wedding ceremony commences, Jack, Gump, and Brown Tom enter the chamber and see Lily prepared to kill the unicorn. Gump urges Jack to kill her but Jack refuses and when Lily frees the unicorn, Jack and Gump fire arrows into Darkness. Darkness knocks Lily unconscious and Jack begins to fight with Darkness, but finds himself overpowered. Seeing the unicorn horn, Jack throws it into Darkness’ stomach, just as Screwball and Oona reflect the sunlight into the fortress, sending Darkness flying towards the edge of the tower, but he is able to hold onto the the ledge. Darkness taunts Jack by saying everyone has some evil in them, but Jack cuts off the hand holding the unicorn’s horn and Darkness is sent hurtling into space. Finding Lily under a spell, Jack realizes that he has to find the ring Lily threw into the pond in order to break the spell. Jack finds the ring and places it on Lily’s finger and kisses her, causing her to wake. Meanwhile, Gump places the horn back on the stallion, reviving the dead unicorn, and Jack waves goodbye to the unicorns and his friends.
Legend received mixed reviews from the critics, holding a 48% rating currently on Rotten Tomatoes. Many critics praised the makeup and set design, but felt the movie itself was a bland retelling of every other sci-fi/fantasy movie out there. Roger Ebert actually praised the performance of Tom Cruise and Tim Curry, but said the effects were so good that just about anyone could have played the roles. The movie did not fare well at the box office, only earning over $15 million off a $24 million budget, but it would wind up becoming a cult classic and earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Makeup.
This is actually a decent fantasy movie, made a little funnier since it is so different from Tom Cruise’s normal movies. Tom Cruise did a good job in this movie, but his fight scenes were definitely the weakest aspect in this movie. And though he only actually appeared for about the last 20-30 minutes of the movie, Tim Curry definitely made an excellent villain. I thought the plot was pretty good a bit more original than the critics claimed. The set designs and the makeup, particularly Tim Curry’s makeup to play Darkness, were definitely some of the best parts of this movie. Not your normal Tom Cruise movie, but it is worth a watch at least once.
Rating: 3 out of 5