The people who are in charge of marketing mediocre-to-bad movies get put in a tough spot when the reviews come in. Sometimes they selectively choose a critic’s words to make a movie sound better, sometimes they specifically highlight negative reviews to show how pretentious critics don’t understand how great their movie is, and sometimes (usually) they just ignore the reviews entirely. The marketing people behind the Tom Hardy gangster movie Legend, however, decided to take a different approach. The movie got a bunch of four and five-star reviews from places like Empire, Time Out, and Glamour, but a two-star review from The Guardian left the marketing people stumped. They wanted to make a poster covered in four stars and five stars to highlight how great Legend is, but what were they supposed to with these two stars? Ignore them? Of course not. That’s now what Tom Hardy would do in Legend (we assume). Tom Hardy in Legend would do something like this:
In case you don’t see it, the two-star Guardian review is positioned right between the two Tom Hardy heads (he plays twin gangsters) so that it looks like they’re covering up some extra stars. It is, in a word, brilliant. Or manipulative. Brilliantly manipulative? That works. It’s so brilliantly manipulative that even Guardian critic Benjamin Lee—the guy who reviewed Legend—had to point out that it was “incredible.”
Legend will be in American theaters on October 2, so you can decide how many stars you’d like to give it after that.