Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

In this movie ‘Legacy’ we will meet Malcolm Gray (Idris Elba) and believe us when we you tell you that Malcolm is having some issues. Malcolm used to be one of the meanest, toughest, most brutal soldiers in Uncle Sam’s army and when we first meet Malcolm, he and his crew of Marine Mercenaries are on a mission to take out an international arms dealer named Salenko (Julian Wadham). It’s not long before they discover that something is terribly wrong with this operation, the men are captured with Salenko giving them a very simple proposition. Tell him who Malcolm Gray is and he will let the rest go free.

Fast forward a bit and we reconnect with Malcolm. Malcolm is back stateside, has gotten himself a sleazy apartment and Malcolm looks a little different than he did last time we saw him. This version of Malcolm is physically scarred and it is clear that this Salenko character did some bad things to my man while he had him at his disposal. Unfortunately, the scars for Malcolm go much deeper than his skin for Malcolm has become paranoid and delusional. These are generally not the best attributes for a man trained to kill.

What Malcolm wants to do now is atone for his perceived crimes against humanity. Malcolm the soldier did some very bad things… arguably. Naturally this is one of the issues of the film as it discusses what is acceptable when one is attempting to protect freedoms, freedom being a variable here. One of the ways Malcolm sees himself setting things straight is by exposing his brother, right wing republican Senator Darnell Gray (Eamon Walker), for his part in using him and his crew as a blunt force instrument in the destruction of terror.

Malcolm has a lot of bones to pick with his brother. He blames his brother for his current predicament in life, he sees his brother as a very dangerous man who is on the cusp of taking over the White House and worst still is that his brother married his old

girlfriend Valentina (Monique Gabriel Curnan) while Malcolm was tucked away being tortured. What kind of brother would do something like that? Malcolm also firmly believes that the reason their op was compromised in the first place was because Darnell sold them out.

So we sit with Malcolm in his seedy apartment as he confesses to his HandyCam, talks to reporters, argues with his old crew, makes out with his ex-girlfriend, chastises his brother and gets into fights to the death with pizza delivery dudes. Or not. Malcolm has issues like you would not believe.

Before I get into this movie I gotta say I loved the original poster art for this movie which channeled visions of ‘The Spook Who Sat by the Door’, as opposed to the generic DVD cover art, but if you have Idris Elba in your movie I guess you had best put Idris Elba on the cover if you want people to pick it up.

But back to ‘Legacy’ directed by Thomas Ikimi and this is a movie that puts me into a little bit conflict. This conflict arises from the inconstancy that I personally experienced

with Ikimi’s film, but it certainly wasn’t enough to deter me from calling this a good movie. There were times when this movie was absolutely gripping, you were completely drawn in to the insanity of Malcolm Gray, and while the performance given by Idris Elba had a lot to do with this, equal credit has to be given to Ikimi’s drum tight direction and his handling of certain scenes in his film. But this wasn’t always the case in this movie. There were times where it tended to meander, some of the earnestness and truthfulness of the narrative didn’t feel so earnest and true anymore, and the focus was on the verge of being lost… only to snap right back in place and draw us right back in. Ikimi is a young director who clearly has an awful lot of talent and this talent is on broad display here in this movie, but this is the young man’s first major film and some of the hiccups that I perceive exist here are probably more of a byproduct of inexperience than anything else, but there is a lot of promise there.

That aside, the high point of this particular film is watching Idris Elba work and descend into the mouth madness. This is Elba’s film considering he’s in practically every scene and his performance alone makes this film worth watching. Ikimi’s script probably gave up the ‘mystery’ behind the character of Malcolm Gray far too soon, and other characters would fade in and out of this movie, failing to match the same intensity that Elba was generating, but this only served to illustrate how powerful the performance was that Idris Elba was putting forward.

You may or may not jibe with the politics put forth that this story is telling but it was necessary to launch Malcolm down his path of paranoia and insanity, this being the more critical part of the film.

Part psychological drama, part stage play with a dash of an action flick tossed in good measure ‘Legacy’ is gripping, if not a somewhat flawed film highlighted by a very impressive performance from Idris Elba.

Real Time Web