I haven’t been the biggest fan of Ridley Scott’s output over the years, but there’s no denying his one two punch of “Alien” and “Legend” is immense. Often times modern audiences forget to cite “Legend” as one of the benchmarks of the fantasy genre. It’s probably the quintessential dark fantasy film and the one film I think of when I refer to fantasy films. There’s everything here from goblins, and trolls, to unicorns, and a valiant warrior, in the form of Tom Cruise. There’s also the unparalleled performance by Tim Curry whose delivers a stunning turn as the Lord of Darkness.
In an idyllic forest, pure-hearted Jack takes his true love Princess Lili to see a pair of unicorns frolicking at the forest’s edge. Little do they know, however, that the Lord of Darkness has dispatched his minions to capture the unicorns and sever their horns so that he may plunge the world into everlasting night. After Lili and the unicorns are taken prisoner, Jack must team with a group of forest creatures and descend into Darkness’ subterranean lair to face off against the devilish creature before it is too late.
Rob Bottin’s make and special effects are absolutely mesmerizing and hold up brilliantly in a time where most eighties movies’ effects have aged as well as milk. Bottin’s work is flawless, as he concocts endless monsters and demons with his brilliant make up; as well there’s the Lord of Darkness who is without a doubt absolutely iconic. Whether it’s fantasy of horror, the Lord of Darkness is the perfect villain, a terrifying beast with nefarious plans that require as much cunning as brute force.
Whether it’s the theatrical cut or the Director’s Cut, it’s tough to find any faults with “Legend.” It’s masterful in its world building and mesmerizing mythology that warranted at least two more films when all was said and done; While Scott conjures up the classic hero’s journey tropes, he also subverts a lot of it with Tom Cruise’s unlikely role as the films’ hero. It’s hard to find too many eighties movies that can still click with modern audiences, but “Legend” is absolutely timeless. Its adoration from fantasy buffs has only helped increased the reputation of what is one of the quintessential entries of its kind. It absolutely deserves to be experienced by a new generation.
The Two Disc Limited Edition includes the ninety minutes US Theatrical cut and the nearly two hour Director’s Cut (on Disc Two) which was authorized by Ridley Scott. As well there’s a Commentary by Paul M. Sammon that is new to this edition, and has a glut of information about both the production and Ridley Scott. There’s also a slew of Isolated Music Tracks, with an Isolated Music Score by Tangerine Dream featuring the unedited score and is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0. There’s the Isolated Music and Effects Track, also presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0, and contains a notice that this may contain cues by neither Tangerine Dream nor Jerry Goldsmith. The thirty minutes Remembering a Legend is a newly done piece featuring some of the British cast and crew of the film.
The Music of Legend offers assessments of the film’s two scores, with Part One focusing on Jerry Goldsmith, and Part Two discussing Tangerine Dream. The Creatures of Legend is another two-part featurette focusing on design elements, with Part One: Inside the Illustrations, and Part Two: Inside the Make-Up Effects. The twenty minutes Incarnations of a Legend is a well done piece by Travis Crawford which examines the various versions of the film. There’s the vintage 2003 documentary “The Directors” focusing on Ridley Scott, as well as the Opening of the Television Version of “Legend.” There’s also the music video “Is Your Love Strong Enough?”
Disc Two includes a Commentary by Ridley Scott, the fifty one minutes Creating a Myth: Memories of Legend, a nine minutes archival piece sourced from a VHS copy. There are also two lost scenes including the Alternate Opening titled “Four Goblins,” and “The Fairie Dance.” There are also a slew of storyboards entitled “Intro / Three Goblins,” “Lili and the Unicorns,” “Mortal World Turned to Ice,” and more. There’s nine minutes of Alternate Footage, and Screenplay Drafts including the original First Draft, and the Shooting Script. Finally, there are two US Theatrical Trailers, an International Trailer, and a slew of US TV Spots, as well as an Image Gallery featuring Production Stills, Continuity Polaroids, and Poster & Video Art.