Writer-director Adrian Bol weaves a tense, gripping, and emotionally vibrant action thriller in ‘Legacy of Lies.’ The English-Russian bilingual movie follows retired MI6 agent Martin Baxter, who is plunged into a sinister conspiracy with the apparent resurfacing of a sensitive old file. Teaming up with his past acquaintance’s daughter, he must retrieve the files for Russian Intelligence and save his own daughter.
Scott Adkins dons the central role with ease, and the ambiance remains dark and brooding for most parts, lending a dystopian look and feel to the story. After the twist ending, we are left scratching our foreheads. The hero breaks a keyboard in a particularly memorable scene, and similarly, let us break the keyboard and decode the final moments for you. SPOILERS AHEAD.
Legacy of Lies Plot Synopsis
In a prologue 12 years before the story, Martin Baxter executes Mission Red Star in a shady bus depot in Kyiv. He has to retrieve a set of files, but the titular “Red Star” goes down as a sniper sabotages the mission. Martin jumps on to save his partner Olga, but the killer gets the better of him. He loses the files, while Olga also presumably dies from a missed shot. Back into the present, Martin’s prodigious daughter Lisa is having a detox diet of salads, but he is distracted.
Now out of MI6, he works as a henchman at a club and competes in underground wrestling events under the name of Bully Boy. He has a fight coming up with Richie Thai. Lisa thinks Martin should use the space and let the opponent come at him, but Martin takes a straightforward approach, losing the fight. Later at night, Martin has a liaison with a woman, and later still, he has a fistfight with a troublemaker at the club.
A woman at the club named Sasha Stepanenko is impressed by Martin’s skillset. She claims to be the daughter of Egor, a reporter Martin was acquainted with in Kyiv. She asks for Martin’s help to unearth the files that went missing 12 years ago, but a group of armed men takes the duo by surprise. Sasha gets away while Martin goes home to find his old MI6 colleague Trevor and his new sidekick, Edwards. They want Martin back, but Martin chooses instead to flee the country with his daughter. However, it is not easy since Russian Intelligence kidnaps Lisa and sets Martin off in a timed quest for the fabled files.
Legacy of Lies Ending: Is Martin Dead or Alive?
Russian Intelligence kidnaps Lisa, and Martin has roughly 24 hours to retrieve the files and save his daughter. Lisa gets along well with her handler Tatyana, betting on boxing matches and enjoying pedicure sessions. Tatyana divulges to Lisa about the gunfight that killed her mother, and it becomes apparent that Olga is Lisa’s mother. On the other hand, Martin teams up with fierce young journalist Sasha to get his hands on the files. After a change in plans, the Russians want Sasha along with the files.
The tag team pulls off a daring heist – Sasha enters the vault, Martin takes the backdoor, and Trevor goes hunting down the duo. Trevor is overjoyed to catch the pair in action, but in actuality, Sasha and Martin have led Trevor to the location since he has the code to the locker that Red Star gave Olga right before her death. Trevor enters the code with some coercion, allowing Martin and Sasha to run away with the briefcase.
Sasha seeks to publish the files in the media and expose the dark side of the government before the public. However, with his daughter in the custody of the Russians, Martin has vested interests. Smelling foul play, Sasha shoots Martin before fleeing the scene. He goes into a dream state, and when he wakes up, it is probably too late. Tatyana is calling him, but he does not know what to say. Both the files and the reporter are lost, but Martin finds a car rental agency ad and follows the lead to the Kyiv-Pasazhyrskyi railway station. He locates Sasha and kidnaps her, while the ghost presence of Olga urges Martin to kill Sasha.
He records a fake feed to dupe Tatyana and the Russian spies in the tense final moments. As he goes for the handoff, it seems that Martin has kept Sasha and the files at a covert apartment. But after Martin secures Lisa, he teams up with Sasha (who is with Martin and not at the apartment) to raise hell. Their stunts do not amount to much, and Tatyana holds Sasha hostage in the blink of an eye. While urging Sasha to catch the briefcase, Martin seemingly has a flashback of Kyiv 12 years ago. Before he pulls the trigger, Tatyana shoots him down, and Lisa fires at Tatyana in retaliation. MI6 arrives at the scene, but Sasha dives into the water, getting away with the files.
We wonder whether or not Martin is alive. But the next scene assures us that he is still alive. Although Tatyana seemingly dies in the encounter, Martin recovers from the damages. Moreover, Lisa has accumulated a hefty amount of money from her gambling partnership with Tatyana, and they would not have to look back. After a stint at a hospital, Martin settles in the countryside, where he opens a restaurant named Lisa’s Vegan Snacks. Lisa gets enrolled in a local school.
Who is The MI6 Rat? What Happens to The Files?
Following her spectacular escapade, Sasha makes a name for herself in global media. She becomes a whistleblower advocating for a free press and free speech while bringing the lost tapes to daylight. Thanks to her, the resurfacing of the files causes ripples through the general public. Although the Kremlin is fast to dismiss the files as fake news, the incident causes one of the largest public unrests in Russia.
Also, as per Trevor’s theory, there is a rat in the CIA-MI6 network who may have ties with Russian Intelligence. Early in the story, Trevor urges Martin to investigate the identity of the double agent. However, Martin’s journey itself does not shed new light on the agent who sabotaged the past mission in Kyiv. But Sasha writes for Lisa the name of the double-agent in the finality of the story. Although we do not get a name, both Sasha and Lisa probably know the name of the traitor by the end. It can be Trevor if the director goes for such a drastic plot twist. It can also be Olga, which would force Martin to face another impasse. In any case, we may look forward to an imminent sequel.
Is Sasha a Russian Spy?
In the penultimate moments of the story, the director seemingly sets us up for a sequel. Late at night, Sasha turns up at the abode of Martin and Lisa. Martin politely states that the restaurant is closed, but he is surprised to see Sasha as he opens the door. After pulling off the impossible mission with her help, Martin probably has feelings for Sasha. Although he is pretty stubborn to admit it, the repetition of the hostage scene draws a clear parallel between Olga and Sasha. Moreover, she seems to be in touch with the same colonel pulling the strings on the Russian side. Is she a spy working for the Russian Intelligence? The final scene suggests so while keeping us hooked for more.
Read More: Where Was Legacy of Lies Filmed?