Jan 25 2010
It’s a philosophical question for the ages, can God inspire a movie so awful, even he can’t sit through it?
I would answer yes, as about midway through Legion, God would get out of his chair, and walk toward the exit muttering, “Does mankind really think I’m this much of an idiot?”
It’s pretty damn hard to fathom how deeply, deeply ridiculous the plot of this movie is, but I’ll try and convey it for you. God is tired of humanity’s bullshit (that’s verbatim his justification given in the movie) so all of a sudden he wants to destroy the earth. And because a worldwide flood was just such a mess to clean up last time, he’s got a new plan for Apocalypse Part Deux, send all his angels to kill everyone!
In the midst of all this, in a remote podunk gas station in the middle of nowhere, there’s a very special piece of trailer trash (Adrianne Palecki) carrying a very special baby, a baby with the power to save mankind, though the reasons for exactly why this is the case are never fully explained. Michael the Archangel (Paul Bettany) has defied God’s orders to wipe out mankind, and he’s come to earth, cut off his very useful wings for some reason (my guess would be “budgetary constraints”) and goes to the gas station to help protect the baby from God’s wrath. With machine guns.
Really, you couldn’t have just blown a normal shaped hole in the wall?
The operative phrase I kept repeating to myself during Legion was “He’s God, why doesn’t he just ______?” For example, God is trying to kill an unborn baby, why doesn’t he just have the mother trip down some stairs? Why doesn’t he throw a meteor at it? Why doesn’t he just open up the earth’s crust and have the entire gas station plummet into the depths of hell? HE’S GOD, it’s A BABY.
But no, apparently God likes a challenge and the way he goes about destroying earth and attempting to assassinate this super baby involves a plan that questions both the all-powerful and all-knowing character attributes of our divine deity. In other words? It’s retarded.
I went into Legion expecting it to be ridiculous, but also hoping for some pretty rad angel-vs-machine-gun-toting-humans battles. But no, despite the title and the fact that God is allegedly using angels to destroy the earth, we get to see a grand total of TWO of them the entire movie. The weapon God uses instead is “angelic possession” which looks a lot like “demonic possession” where weak-minded humans get their bodies taken over by angels, giving them the power to have sharp teeth and crawl on the ceiling
So God’s baby assassination plot involves sending a foul-mouthed grandma demon and an ice cream truck driver demon to the gas station, and when both of those are felled immediately by a hail of gunfire (as angelic possession does not make you bulletproof), he sends a whole horde of possessed humans to mob the gas station, and in effect, Legion becomes nothing more than a poorly executed zombie movie, with waves of demented humans cut down by machine gun fire, and nary a wing or halo in sight.
That’s the best you’ve got, God? You’re fired, I’m converting to Hinduism.
Finally, God gets fed up with his own idiotic plan, and sends ONE angel to club the baby to death with his motorized mace, his trusty general Gabriel (played by the underused Kevin Durand who does indeed look quite badass here). This is as opposed to sending, oh, I don’t know, all ten billion of the other actual angels he has lying around? It seems God is really half-assing this whole apocalypse thing, and in the process, he destroys any semblance of what could have been a cool movie.
The film is shockingly low on action, almost as low as it is on angels, and the majority of it is spent getting to know the characters stuck in the gas station. There’s redneck pa and son (Lucas Black and Dennis Quaid), one-armed cook (Charles S. Dutton), black thug guy (Tyrese Gibson), rich family (Jon Tenney and Kate Walsh) with skanky daughter (Willa Holland), but they have feelings! This character exploration does make them slightly more dimensional than your average rag-tag group of apocalypse survivors, but good lord, we didn’t come here to learn about family bonding and parental responsibility. We want goddamn angels killing the shit out of each other!
The only good part of the film, as hinted at in the trailer, is the rather epic fight between Michael and Gabriel, and it give a hint at how cool the film could have been if they had ANY sort of budget to be able to CGI more than one pair of angel wings.
But the real problem with the film is that any storyline that has you fighting against God is going to be riddled with plot holes, and watching God stumble around trying to kill a baby in Legion is like watching The Rock try to kill an ant by flicking grains of sand at it. JUST STEP ON IT.
Legion didn’t have the best concept to start with, but followed up by extremely poor execution and a comically low budget, there is just nothing redeeming about the film at all. All we can really hope now is that God absolves the sins of those involved with the making of this abomination, and doesn’t feel the need to send evil grandmas to kill their firstborn.
1 out of 5 stars
Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot about the Lord’s deadly army of flies, which totally…get your car dirty.
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