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Stars: Tom Hardy, Emily Browning, Paul Bettany, Taron Egerton, David Thewlis, Sam Spruell, Paul Anderson, Chazz Palminteri, Tara Fitzgerald, Duffy, Shane Attwooll

Director: Brian Helgeland

Not a particularly inspired title for yet another re-telling of the story of the Kray twins and their stranglehold on London's underworld of the 1960s. Central to this version, of course, is the brilliant Tom Hardy, who creates two entirely different characters as the Krays: Ron, a gay, bespectacled, out-and-out dangerous psychopath, and Reggie, simply a violent, ruthless gangster.

Hardy might have been born to play these roles, although there are also considerable contributions from Browning, as Frances, the girl Reggie loves (she becomes a compulsive pill-popper as she comes to understand that he's unreformable), Spruell as Jack the Hat, fated to become a key figure in the twins' lives, and an almost unrecognisable Fitzgerald as Frances' hardened, embittered mother (she wears black to their wedding - prophetically).

The Krays' own mother, so prominent (and coruscatingly played by Billie Whitelaw) in the 1990 film, is kept well in the background in this version, merely offering cups of tea in times of crisis.

The film's a bit long and it's hard to escape the feeling we've been this way before, but the power of the performances keeps you watching. Even though Hardy's playing twins, you could easily think you were watching two different actors.

Lots of savage violence, of course, though not quite as much as you might expect: the movie is perhaps a shade too glossy and sanitised all round.

David Quinlan

UK 2015. UK Distributor: StudioCanal. Colour by deluxe.
131 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 18.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 3, Drugs 0, Swearing 3.

Review date: 06 Sep 2015