Jan 25 2010

Unreal Movie Review: Legion

Published by at 1:15 pm under Movies,Reviews

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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.

legion2.jpg

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.

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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

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Oh, I’m sorry, I forgot about the Lord’s deadly army of flies, which totally…get your car dirty.





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17 responses so far

  • chuck

    shame, i was really looking forward to this movie when i read the preview but as soon as i saw the trailer i noticed something fishy, but i was kept hoping it was going to be a cool low budget “army of darkness” type movie

    will skip it.

  • illeaturfamily

    This sucks. I actually wanted to see this movie at first. I thought it was going to be crazy and badass and all serious cause it involved religion and shit. Now it just seems silly, and instead of being freaked out I’ll just chuckle at crazy ol’ gram grams diddling about on a little gas station diner ceiling.

  • Madison

    I don’t want to sound like a dick, but if you thought there was any way this was going to be remotely watchable, you’re delusional.

  • Pawlit

    Well Madison, you’re a fine example of the fact that we don’t always get what we want.
    The fact is that those kind of over-the-top biblical movies can be enjoyable by some. Too bad that wasn’t the case. I’m especially surprised because the cast is not half bad.

  • Madison

    @ Pawlit

    Is that supposed to be an insult?

    Either way, these types of movies can be good only if they don’t take themselves too seriously. As chuck about pointed out, it could have been like Army of Darkness or From Dusk Till Dawn. Nothing from the previews or what I had read about the movie gave me any indication that that would be the case, so you’re left with a low-budget pseudo-action movie with crappy special effects about angels. You don’t need a degree in film to know that it will likely suck. I’m sorry it did, but I can’t pretend as if I was excited for it.

  • zsasz

    man…first film of the year i looked forward to aswell. i really thought it was going to be an intelligent, unusual film about the demolishon of humanity by angels like a disaster movie with a difference. i had no idea it would end up being an action movie like this :(
    i wish i was in the position to make movies…i could do so much better than this stupidity.

  • http://concreteandnailpolish.blogspot.com/ april

    Wow! That sounds so lame! Battling angels could have been so fun.

    Here is an awesome book about warring fallen angels that is definitely badass enough to erase the memory of Legion. http://www.godsdemon.com/ I LOVE this book, but there were parts that were so vividly disgusting and horrifying that I would have to read them out loud to my boyfriend.

    Hell is literally made up of human souls turned into the most disgusting building material ever! The demons use the souls to build all sorts of elaborate cities. Gross and awesome!

    There is a lot to this book and it is actually quite a literary read.
    Also it is just begging for a Guillermo Del Toro movie adaptation!

  • ann

    I watched this movie last week and all throughout the movie, one thought was repeating in my mind…”WTF!?!?”

    It was such a terrible movie that made no sense whatsoever! There were so many scenes where it seemed like the director forgot to follow up what he was originally intending to show…

    The best thing about this movie is that it’s relatively short! They probably couldn’t afford to make the movie longer due to financial constraints! Most of their budget went to CGI Granny and Ice Cream dude….

  • Lauren

    I’ve been excited about this movie since seeing the trailer here. Bought advance tickets and was looking forward to an awesome, scary, action movie. But, oh god, it sucked so bad. And the only scary parts? The Grandma and Ice Cream Man that you see in the trailer! Ugh!
    Looks like the next potentially awesome scary action flick is Wolfman. Hope that one is better than the piece of crap that is Legion.

  • ComfortableMadness

    NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    I had hoped against hope. Fail. I just hope this doesn’t launch Bettany and Durand into obscurity.

    They really did do this backwards. As Paul points out, you can’t really have a movie where the plot is to fight AGAINST God. It just really won’t make sense. Should of had Michael as the only angel fighting on the side of God. All the other angels should have been made the renegades fed up with Gods love of humanity. I guess they should get a point for attempting originality.

    P.S. This made 17.5 mil?

  • FrankenPC

    I’m officially sick to death of thrillers/action flicks based on the bible. SICK I tell you! Book of Eli also stunk.

  • Kaz

    I went to see this movie for one reason and one reason only and that was to see Kevin Durand play a badass archangel. In that respect I wasn’t entirely disappointed. They actually gave Gabriel a bit of depth – a VERY little bit – but still more than I was expecting. They could have given him some more screen time, though. And DAMN he looked GOOD!!

    Now I’m just patiently-as-possible waiting for Robin Hood for some more Kevin action.

  • Banditone

    Tilda Swinton’s Gabriel for the win….

    Waiting forever for this movie to see some BILLY BADASS angel fight scenes.

    What a waste!

  • Milo Balls

    You want badass angels? Rent The Prophecy.

    “I’m an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls, and from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence is never understanding why”

    God I love Christopher Walken so much

  • klzz

    This review is a lot more ridiculous than the movie. It really wasn’t that horrible, I’m sure your revise would be a lot more entertaining, the entire ten seconds of watching God (as played by the rock) obliterate the world with one mighty stomp, immediately after preparing for his next shoot as the toothfairy.

    This isn’t gladiator, or 300. It’s a fucking cliche horror attempt with a somewhat decent plot spin. Compared to all this other highly recycled material coming out in theaters this wasn’t that awful.

    Poster, learn how to write a review. kthnx.

  • haleeby

    LOL, i watched it with some mates and we just kept on laughing, the people all having spazzes :X and the granny, so freeken funny :P. I don’t think it was intended to be a comedy, bnut it was in the end!

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