VOD film review: The Fall of the Krays
James R | On 10, Jan 2016
Director: Zackary Adler
Cast: Simon Cotton, Kevin Leslie
Watch The Fall of the Krays online in the UK: Netflix UK / Amazon Prime / TalkTalk TV / Apple TV (iTunes) / Prime Video (Buy/Rent) / Rakuten TV / Google Play
The Krays are having something of a moment, with Tom Hardy famously starring as the twins in last year’s Legend – a divisive project that channeled the glamorous myth of the criminal brothers, rather than the cruel reality. The Fall of the Krays, therefore, could offer the perfect antidote: an indie take on the famous brothers.
Zackary Adler’s film forms the second part of a double-bill, the first inevitably being The Rise of the Krays. Our sequel picks up where the last one left off, with Ronnie and Reggie at the height of their brutal power – and with only one direction for things to go.
Sadly, downhill doesn’t just apply to the Firm, as any potential for dramatic tension, or hubris-driven pathos, swiftly fizzles out. The central problem is the casting, which sees Simon Cotton play the two-faced, but slick Ronnie and Kevin Leslie portray the unhinged Ronnie. The contrast between them is evident, but not in a good way – for twins, they simply look nothing alike, and their performances aren’t engaging enough to let you overlook it. Leslie’s Ronnie is psychotic to the point of silliness, while Cotton never quite channels the charm that once wooed Reggie’s bride-to-be.
It would help if they had better lines to deliver. The script, by Ken Brown and Sebastian Brown, sadly serves up a string of brash cliches in place of dialogue, leaving the key confrontations to break apart like the Krays’ criminal empire – even when Reggie’s fiance gets the chance to talk with her mother about their marriage, the screenplay means the attempted heart-to-heart falls flat.
Adler shoots events with enough style to convincingly create the period on the production’s limited budget, but everything else feels artificial – one poker-centric torture scene is woefully overplayed, despite the unrealistic prop. There’s commendable ambition consistently on display, but the result is more EastEnders than Scarface. Unlike Legend, there’s no danger of glamourising the Krays here, but perhaps a bit more glitz is just what’s needed.
The Fall of the Krays is available on Netflix UK, as part of an £8.99 monthly subscription. It is also available to watch online on Amazon Prime Video as part of a Prime membership or a £5.99 monthly subscription.