12 August 2007 | mstomaso
The Director's Cut is Gorgeous!
I will join the chorus... This is a beautiful, and thoroughly enjoyable fantasy film as long as you watch it in digital widescreen and do not bother with the 1hr 30min version. The Director's Cut(better known as the European release) is worthy of an IMDb rating of 8. The American theatrical release is worthy of a 6.5.
This is a fairly straightforward fantasy conceived and directed by Ridley Scott, one of the greatest mainstream directors of our time. The story follows a young man who lives in a forest (Jack, played by Tom Cruise) and a spirited young princess (Lily - Mia Sara) who is in love with him. The lord of darkness (Tim Curry) has sent forth his minions to capture the last two remaining unicorns so that he can banish light from the world forever. Unicorns are attracted to innocence, and so they find themselves in Jack and Lily's company just as the dark lord's play begins to unfold. Before long, Jack and his magical forest friends must save Lily, the one remaining unicorn and the world from the grasp of the dark lord at any price.
Even the lengthier director's cut goes by just a little too quickly. But it's pace is not comparable to the incredibly hasty studio chop-job of the American release. The story is epic, but the medium is not. All considered, however, the production team did a great job given the length limits afforded for the film.
Cruise does pretty well with a role that must have been a little hard to interpret. Jack must behave as a hero, a young man who has learned most of his lessons from nature, and a teenager to varying degrees throughout the film. Mia Sara is delightful a Lily. Tim Curry and David Bennent (Honeythorn Gump) get pretty close to stealing the show. In all, the acting is fine, but the star of the film is really the camera.
Scott has often proved his ability to create immersive experiences in worlds which are somewhat alien (no pun intended) to his audience. Legend does this perhaps as powerfully as his most far-out films (Alien, and Bladerunner). The cinematography, editing, and special effects are exceptionally good, and make the fairly average plot glow. Each scene is a work of art.
Highly recommended for fantasy fans, Ridley Scott, Tim Curry and Mia Sara fans and those interested in artfully presented effects. Recommended for fans of Pan's Labyrinth and Mirrormask. Weakly recommended for Tom Cruise fans.