I have embarked on a quest to watch a number of 80s Fantasy flicks and share my findings with you, dear readers. Today, we reflect on “Legend.” I’ve never seen it before, but was excited when I saw how cool the cover was. Anyway, here goes!
What the devil did I just watch? [See what I did there?]
“Legend” starts off pretty well with some ominous discussion between baddies and then a beautiful look at a fantastical forest. I want to dwell on this for a bit: the movie looks really good. The sets are all highly detailed and interesting to look at, the makeup used for Lily and other characters has enough whimsy to sell it without being too cheesy or overdone, and the camera effects often highlight and emphasize the setting in just the right way.
Unfortunately, there is very little else that goes well. The dialogue is pretty poorly written (apart from the cool scene with a riddle and most of the lines the Devil gets to speak). The characters never receive any background story or development, which makes it extremely difficult to care what happens to them. It tries to come off as being fairly dark, but only seems to end up taking itself too seriously.
The worst thing, though, is how much of the movie feels like it is just added in to fill it up. At several points dialogue is repeated; at least one clip of a scene is shown twice back-to-back, large amounts of time are spent just staring at characters’ faces, and when characters do speak with the cheesy (or wooden) dialogue, they often do so for interminably long periods of time without any action to drive the movie forward. We are subjected to a very lengthy portion of the film dedicated to watching the Devil try to seduce Lily while Jack and friends move through the Devil’s stronghold, which highlights the decent dialogue written for the ultimate bad guy, but doesn’t do much for the other characters.
All this filler means that, as mentioned before, viewers never get a feel for why the characters act the way they do, what motivates them, or why we should care about any of these to begin with. Some of the characters are also exceedingly annoying, which doesn’t help matters.
Ultimately, I was left just wondering why I should care or what there was to care about. I know this one is considered a bit of a classic and is very well-loved, but I just thought it was overdone. At least it’s pretty!
+Beautiful scenery, makeup, camera effects, and sets
-Some parts seem to drag on forever
-Lots of filler
-Not as epic as it should have been
-Very little connection to the characters
-Poor dialogue (and too much of it!)
My Score: D+ “Very little of ‘Legend’ is compelling or legendary.”
I wanted to like this movie very badly. I just didn’t. It is filled with, well, filler, has a very threadbare plot, and very little world development. The characters never grew on me and I never felt connected to the story. The best part about the movie is the sweet cover/poster.
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Time to Watch some 80s Fantasy Flicks– I describe my quest to watch a bunch of 80s fantasy movies. This post also features links to all the reviews done so far.
A Ranking of 1980s Fantasy that would please Crom Himself– The original list of movies that made me embark on this quest.