Legend (1985)

A young Tom Cruise stars in this largely forgotten fantasy flop ironically titled Legend

Bringing an abrupt halt to Ridley Scott’s early run of classics (The Duellists, Alien and Blade Runner), Legend sees a forest-dwelling Tom Cruise attempt to save some unicorns and a princess (Mia Sara) from the Lord of Darkness (Tim Curry) and box office ruin. He’s only half successful.

This is due to the film’s only original aspect being Cruise’s first set of teeth; everything else is rote fantasy cliché that would only seem fresh to children, for whom the feature is surely too creepy (this is a Tom Cruise movie after all) albeit without Labyrinth‘s imagination or sense of humour – not that this stops it from trying.

Scott’s visuals are often arresting and Curry’s satanic performance is as heated as his name, but the muddled storytelling, laughable dialogue (“Forget her! Think about the unicorn!”) and ill-defined characters leave Cruise all at sea. It’s another questionable role for a man notoriously sensitive about seeming gay, considering his character has a short dress and magical unicorn powers.

Naturally, Scott released a director’s cut with an extra half hour for hardcore fans of unimaginative fantasy schlock. Or to use the industry term, Scientologists.

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