In Legacy, Idris Elba plays Malcolm Gray, an ex-Special Forces member who holes up in a motel room, apparently having escaped from a healing institution. His existence has been covered up by the government, and on his last secret mission, which resulted in his torture, he and his team were left for dead; therefore, he plots to expose the activities he had been involved in, which would also mean revealing the involvement of his brother, an ambitious U.S. senator. However, the acts he has committed and witnessed haunt him, and his mind begins to unravel.
Legacy is primarily a one-man show. Although there are several characters who visit Malcolm in his room, we are soon led to believe they might be all in his head. It's a device now tried-and-true that director Thomas Ikimi levels, but it also drives home the notion that the story is strictly about the mind of one man. Therefore, the focus remains on Elba's alpha-level performance as that man struggling to hold himself together while his subconscious tries to tear him apart. The movie reveals a bit about the internal task of apportioning responsibility for one's involvement in terrible deeds -- in order to deal with his own guilt, he holds up a scenario that ultimately lays blame on his brother, yet his conscience continues to attack him.
Any criticism of illicit U.S. government operations feels incidental relative to the character study here, for Legacy's concerns appear more soldier-centric, though any real interest it has in personal trauma gets weakened by the exaggeration of its protagonist's military experience (there's an Eastern European crime boss bad guy, for instance, who feels like he belongs in some neighboring action movie). But as a showpiece for Elba, the movie functions well, and will probably be regarded mainly for being just that.
(Released by Codeblack Entertainment and rated "R" for brutal violence including some torture and pervasive language.)
Review also posted at www.windowtothemovies.com.