The Rise of the Krays

rise kraysDirected by Zackary Adler, The Rise of the Krays, is not a well-known subject in America because these twins became notorious in London. As amateur boxers, they used their brute strength to domineer the city in the 1960s.

The movie comes across as a thought-provoking historical piece.  Because knowing they were amateur boxers made sense that they could punch their way to power on the streets.  Their method was to attack first and attack hard.  They succeeded without remorse.

The story is told by a close friend of the twins.  One of the twins, Ronnie, played by Simon Cotton, was known as a volatile and complex young man. He was institutionalized, which proved to make him worse as psychiatric institutions do. Keeping him in check by his brother Reggie, played by Kevin Leslie, proved to be difficult. Still, they gained power and controlled the East end and spread out on the West side when gambling was no longer illegal.

The movie shows their violence, gang wars, and power over politicians. The acting seemed a little staged, but for the most part, the characters were believable.  Cotton and Leslie brought substance to the movie and strength to the true story.

If you can stomach raunchy, bitter, and violent movies that are a blood bath, then this movie is for you and not for the soft heart.