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Legend Reviews

Sumptuous, grandly-scaled, and often ludicrous Jungian fairy tale from director Ridley Scott (BLADE RUNNER), a remarkable visual stylist with an exceptionally erratic track record. Against a Tolkienesque backdrop, Tim Curry camps it up as the Lord of Darkness--a horned, goat-footed bad guy who once ruled the earth, but was banished to the lower depths by Sunlight. The power of Sunlight, it seems, resides in the innocent unicorn, so Darkness orders a crew of trolls, goblins, and assorted uglies to pull a Lorena Bobbit on the horse's magical horn. Topside, nature-boy Jack (Tom Cruise) and his beloved Princess Lili (Mia Sara) take time out from a heavy schedule of wholesome frolicking to spy on a pair of unicorns drinking from a stream; just then, the goblins arrive to carry out their dastardly mission. Black clouds gather, the earth is wrapped in night, and the Lord of Darkness returns to rule the earth. If young Jack is to restore daylight, he'll need to conquer a forbidding array of demons, expensive special effects, and scenery-chewing British actors. Ultimately, LEGEND--a pet project of Scott's that took years to research, shoot, and edit--is done in by the director's ambition. What might have been a pleasantly innocuous children's story becomes an enormous, lumbering FX machine into which the actors, particularly a nervous Tom Cruise, seem to disappear. The visuals are pleasantly lavish, however, and occasional hints that Scott thinks he's up to something important can safely be ignored.