The Way of the Word

2. February 2010

Review: Legion

Filed under: movies,review — jensaltmann @ 12:46
Tags: , , , , ,

USA 2010. Directed by Scott Stewart. Written by Peter Schink and Scott Stewart. Starring Paul Bettany, Adrianne Palicki, Lucas Black, Dennis Quaid Runtime 100 minutes

Got is tired of all the bullshit, and he sends his angels out to exterminate mankind. All of the angels? No, one of them refuses: the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany). He rebels, is cast down to Earth, and goes forth armed with mighty big guns to an out-of-the-way diner named Paradise Falls. There, waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) is heavily pregnant with a child that will grow up to lead mankind out of the Darkness.

Unless, of course, God’s army of zombie angels kills the child first. To make sure that happens, God has dispatched the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand).

An unborn child that will lead mankind of of a time of darkness. A very stoic hero who is out to make sure that child is born. A super powerful menace (just slightly more powerful than the hero who defends the unborn child) who is sent to kill the child before it can be born.

Can you say, “Come with me if you want to live?”

Let’s get to the good thing first: the casting is excellent. None of them phone in their parts. They almost manage to sell the movie.

Almost. Because there is too much wrong with everything else. Legion‘s story is extremely derivative. You can sum it up in three words: Zombies vs. Terminator.

Actually, strike that. The average zombie exudes much more menace than these angel-possessed demons. Even though these angels have slightly more personality. At least the two that we get to meet. Which are the cop who tries to stop Michael just after Michael first appears, and Gladys.

You know Gladys. She’s the old lady from the trailer who insults Charlie’s baby, bites another patron, then climbs the ceiling and is shot down. It’s the best scene in the movie. It’s almost a pity that they put it into the trailer.

Speaking of the trailer, you remember the ice cream truck and the deforming ice cream truck driver? If you do, you’ve seen it all: he shows up, he transforms, he gets shot down. It’s a creepy little scene that doesn’t contribute anything to the movie, which makes me think that it was shot to contribute something to the trailer, and then put into the movie simply because it was in the trailer.

Beyond that, the movie has several problems at concept level. Some examples:

  • The child isn’t explained. It’s implied that it’s a new Redeemer. Jesus 2.0, if you will.
  • If so, why did God change his mind in the few months since he made Charlie pregnant, and the day just before the child’s birth?
  • If the child is, instead, the anti-christ, as some people have suggested, why do the zombie angels cease their attacks the moment it’s born, instead of attacking with renewed zeal?
  • Why do the angels need to take over human bodies and become zombies in order to attack the diner? Since both Michael and Gabriel come to Earth in their angel form, it should be possible for the angels. And their real angel form seems to be much more badass (and much harder to kill) than their zombie form.

The special effects are decent enough.

Legion is completely and entirely predictable. You can tell what’s going to happen before it happens, even if you don’t know the movies from which Legion borrows.

Without giving anything away, the last shot reminded me so much of another movie that I thought, “if they now do a voice-over…” I barely managed to finish that thought before the voice-over came.

Verdict: Not recommended

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