This review was first posted to Facebook on 16.10.2015

Tom Hardy plays both Reggie and Ronnie Kray in this excellent movie based on the lives of the notorious identical twins who grew up to become ruthless gangsters running nightclubs and protection rackets in the swinging London of the 1960s. Hardy does a brilliant job of differentiating deranged, psychotic Ronnie from the more superficially reasonable Reggie who’s just as much a violent brute when the chips are down. They weren’t the first criminal celebrities, but they did generate a kind of weird glamour which attracted showbiz celebrities and influential public figures into their orbit. Almost as appalling as the violence is that they were able to get away with their crimes for so long, partly through outright intimidation but mainly through their unholy alliance with a hedonistic and corrupt establishment against which the poor old forces of law and order were powerless. Google the full story afterwards and weep. Then cheer yourself up by re-watching the brilliant Monty Python sketch about Doug and Dinsdale Piranha. Dinsdale, who nailed people’s heads to coffee tables when they transgressed the unwritten law but was nevertheless a lovely bloke who knew how to treat a female impersonator. And Doug, the truly scary one. Grown men would pull their own heads off rather than face Doug. Why? Because he used….gulp….sarcasm: dramatic irony, metaphor, bathos, puns, parody, litotes, satire – ‘e was vicious!