Legend (Theatrical Version)
Jack lives peacefully in a mythical forest with animals and goblins until fate leads him to battle a host of terrors to rescue a captive unicorn. If he loses, the world plunges into an eternal ice age. Meanwhile, he must save the beautiful princess Lili from the clutches of the demonic Lord of Darkness.
Plot Rating: 4/5
That description is kind of a skewed version of the story. In this fairy tale land (which is forever unnamed) there is a beautiful young princess who spends most of her time in the fields with a young man, Jack, who it seems was raised in the forest. It’s never said how or who raised him. He wears patched clothes and hangs out in trees. That’s about all the character exposition you get.
Jack takes the princess, Lili, to see two unicorns running through the valley. She becomes enamored and goes up to touch one. At the same time a Goblin ambush sent by the Lord of Darkness attacks and shoots the Unicorn, poisoning it. They cut off the Unicorns horn and the land is plunged into snow.
Lili and Jack are separated and he meets up with dwarves and an elf to try and find her. Saving the Unicorn is second on his list, as saving it and killing the Lord of Darkness could save Lili from whatever the Lord does to her.
Honestly the plot is very confusing, mostly due to continuity and other editing errors. It is hard to follow specific details. Such as how the Unicorn was captured. You see it run off with the Princess, then suddenly it’s chained up in the Lord of Darkness’ castle. One of the “goblins” is suddenly a good guy. All in all the movie reeks of over-editing. The version I watched on iTunes was the one shown in theaters, and there is also a Director’s Cut, so perhaps that is patched back together a bit…
The story is a good one, it’s just hard to follow. It has a strong Jim Hensen feel, though there are no puppets used (just a ton of prosthetics).
Acting Score: 3/5
It’s pretty rough on the parts of Mia Sara (Princess Lili) and Jake (Tom Cruise). They cry big fake tears for no clear reason and seem to be overplaying their hands a bit. David Bennent takes the role of the elf Gump and goes pretty well with it. He doesn’t overact at least.
Tim Curry is the Lord of Darkeness, but you wouldn’t know it. He’s covered head to toe in prosthetics and is totally unrecognizeable. His voice was also digitally taken down a few tones, so it is a much deeper version and isn’t really the voice we would associate with him traditionally.
Age Rating: 13+
Most of the rating comes from the more frightening content. You see torturerers, scary monsters, and revealing costumes. Seriously, out of all the big characters only a small fraction of them have pants on. Jake and Gump wear little more than male diapers, and while Jake has a shirt Gump pretty much just ends with the undies. The girls wear equally revealing costumes, with a pixie wearing a revealing leotard and Lili appearing for the last half of the film in a clear plastic and black mesh dress. I set the conservative age rating based on this coupled with the fact that the actors are made to look far younger than they are (so you feel like you’re looking at a 13 year-old running around in his underwear instead of a twenty-something) and it seems a bit sketchy.
In the English version the voice of Gump is dubbed by the actress who plays Blix (his pixie friend). In the German version the voice of Blix is dubbed by the actor who played Gump (he is fluent in the language).
During filming their soundstage burnt down, leaving the remainder of the movie to be shot on cheaper and more quickly constructed stages (you can’t tell though!)
While Mia Sara was only 15 when the movie was filmed (again- her extremely revealing plastic and mesh dress makes it very sketchy at such a young age) but because of production issues and editing problems it was not released until she was 18.
Tim Curry was chosen for the role of Lord of Darkness when the director saw him in the Rocky Horror Picture Show.
All scenes filmed in the forest had to be dubbed after they were shot because the noise on set was so loud.
The movie is widely rumored to be the source of inspiration for Shigeru Miyamoto’s “Legend of Zelda” game series.
- Posted in: Legend