The Fall of the Krays, 2016.
Directed by Zackary Adler.
Starring Simon Cotton, Kevin Leslie, Phil Dunster, Danny Midwinter, Alexa Morden, George Webster, Adrian Bouche and Josh Myers.
Now established as the most feared gangsters in London, twins Ronnie and Reggie Kray must fight to keep their empire as dogged police officer Nipper Read closes in.
Following on from last year’s The Rise of the Krays, The Fall of the Krays picks up with twins Ronnie (Simon Cotton) and Reggie (Kevin Leslie), now successful club owners and ruling the London underworld using fear tactics. However, police detective Leonard ‘Nipper’ Read (Danny Midwinter) is determined to put the twins away, and as he persuades his bosses to let him reinvestigate the brothers and their activities it seems a few chinks in their armour are starting to appear as Reg’s marriage to Frances hits the rocks and Ronnie’s mental health issues begin to dictate how the Firm conducts its business.
Although this is the second half of one story, The Fall of the Krays isn’t quite as satisfying as The Rise… despite having more of the meat of the Kray’s legend in it. Although The Rise of the Krays skimmed over a lot of the events that we all know it still spent time establishing the characters but here it all feels a bit rushed and inconsistent, especially with regards to Reggie, the seemingly more ‘normal’ one of the twins who has suddenly gone from rock solid and calm in a crisis to a shouting, swearing thug at the drop of a hat. Perhaps that is how the real Reg Kray was but the predictable dialogue delivered unconvincingly by Kevin Leslie is a real downturn from his more measured performance in The Rise… Simon Cotton as Ronnie takes more of a back seat here but the moments when he is on-screen are the more entertaining ones, despite the fact he goes for full scenery-chewing during certain scenes, especially the one where the twins meet up with some American Mafia hoods, the leader of which has the most questionable Italian-American accent heard outside of an Ant Hill Mob cartoon. However, Danny Midwinter does turn in a great performance as Nipper Read and the film would have benefitted hugely from him being at the forefront a little bit more than he was.
What The Fall of the Krays does more successfully than the 1990 film The Krays is that it doesn’t condense the two main events that lead to the twins’ eventual downfall – the murders of Jack ‘The Hat’ McVitie and George Cornell – into one night for dramatic effect (the two killings actually happened 17 months apart). When the violence does happen it is quite brutal and bloody, including some quite gruesome chunks of brain thrown in for good measure during Cornell’s shooting, and the feel of the 1960s is very authentic but the escalation of the events in the Kray twins’ story shown in this film also escalates the flaws in the acting and the script-writing, which just simply aren’t as good as they were when depicting the twins’ earlier years in the previous film. It’s not a bad film but it just doesn’t engage as much as it should considering the events that it is depicting, and it also doesn’t help that the Tom Hardy film Legend was released between The Rise… and The Fall… and likely took away most of the attention that this film was likely to get. If you saw The Rise of the Krays and enjoyed it then watch this so you can finish what that film started but be prepared for slight disappointment as it doesn’t quite maintain the same level of quality.
Flickering Myth Rating – Film: ★ ★ / Movie: ★ ★ ★
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