God has been furious with their children before, sending a wave to wash them away and start anew. This time, they’ve opted for a more horrifying measure; sending an army of the possessed guided by their loyal angels to eradicate God’s great mistake: humanity.
The concept of Legion (2010) is an intriguing one, with God’s angels possessing the weak-minded to engulf and kill the strong, thus ending humanity. It has the makings of a movie that would entail dark scenes of horror, waves of violence, and a lot of thrilling fantasy-action scenes. As the film features the likes of Paul Bettany, Kevin Durand, and Dennis Quaid, one could expect at least a fairly decent film: but one would be wrong.
Legion fails to live up to its potential due to its weak, cliché-ridden, cheesy script, its lack of thought for logic or its own internal logic, the seemingly low or poorly utilized budget, and the chosen setting of the story amidst what could be an interesting and very cinematic plot.
After a quick monologue concerning the state of the earth and God being mad, the film shifts to the angel Michael (Paul Bettany), landing in a dark alley, wings apparent. After being startled by a barking dog, the camera quickly cuts to a knife in the stabbing position, the dog pacing and whelping, and then Bettany sans wings. After an explosion, some police shouting their cinematically-generic lines, and a hard-to-watch possession sequence – which sees a police officer shake his head back and forth until he gets sharp teeth and dilated pupils – Michael busts out his angel skills, leaving the two officers dead, driving off in a police car.
This opening sequence eluded to the lack of budget and poor script but did deliver some intrigue as to why Michael cut off his wings, why people were being possessed, and the fact that this angel can throw down when needed. Unfortunately, the movie’s creators decide to stick with a tedious trend throughout the film: to withhold key information for as long as possible, if not indefinitely. While some elements of the plot are revealed, they are often done so in a lackluster manner with reasoning which results in some light chuckling. Or, they never reveal the reason at all, as is the case with the main storyline of a certain baby’s extermination-ending significance to God.
However, as the movie switches to its next destination, everything calms down while the world unravels in the two in-sight cities. But, after a long spell of nothing, light attempts at character building, and the halt of the television’s broadcast, the diner gets a taste of the action when a seemingly sweet elderly lady by the name of Gladys (Jeanette Miller) sits down, orders raw meat, throws around some strong language, bites a guy’s neck, and crawls around the ceiling. Poor script and a lack of production value take center stage during Gladys’ attack, as does Jeep’s (Lucas Black) go-to baffled face – which is present throughout the movie.
Scenes of potential excitement and horror fall flat in the film and are followed by long periods of consecutive monologues in an attempt to make the viewers connect with the characters. The scenes of action often seem to put the creators into flux as to how to go about sticking to real-life logic and the logic of the movie. For example, it is later revealed that an angel’s wings are bullet-proof with razor-tipped feathers. So, knowing the army of possessed that’s coming his way to kill this chosen-baby, why would Michael cut his off when he could simply acquire the baby, wrap up, and walk to the hailed peak to achieve his goal? Furthermore, as it’s clear that angels have easy access to earth, boast mighty weapons, and have these impenetrable wings, why wouldn’t the army of angels just flutter down and kill off humanity instead of inhabiting these squishy, breakable human bodies that continually fail them?
Doing just about enough to make you think that the film isn’t all bad, Gabriel (Kevin Durand) shows up to stop Michael and continue God’s mission of ending humanity by killing the baby who, for some unknown reason, is the only reason why God would change his mind. In an exciting battle with Michael, Gabriel uses all of his savvy, angel skills, and equipment, but while the character does earn the adoration of the viewer, he is quickly cut down to the level of the others with some tedious lines and a flurry of idiocy in the story.
While the film tries to land its footing in horror, fantasy, and action, it merely dips its toes into each, demonstrating the lack of direction and lack of thought given to a potentially exciting movie. The interesting overall plot could be given justice by ambitious filmmakers with a deeper roster of talent and a bigger budget. Legion comes off as a very lazy movie that originally lured people in with its promise of an interesting story and plenty of big fantasy-action scenes – no wonder God is mad.
Verdict 1.5 / 5