Directed by: Scott Stewart
Premise: God has lost his faith in mankind and sends his angels to destroy the world. An eclectic mix of people take shelter at an isolated diner as the apocalypse begins, fighting to defend a pregnant woman whose unborn child holds the key to the future.
What Works: Paul Bettany’s performance as the angel Gabriel is the one and only highpoint of this film.
What Doesn’t: Legion is such an utter disaster of a movie that it is nearly a text book example of what not to do in a film. From the outset, the story has no concrete goal for the characters to aim for and so Legion ends up recapitulating the same scene over and over again as creatures assail the diner and the heroes shoot them. Any story, but especially a fantasy, must establish its logic early on and stick with it, but it is obvious that the filmmakers behind Legion are just making this up as they go along as random supernatural events just happen with no explanation or apparent reason. The idea behind Legion—that God might not like us—is compelling, but the concept is wasted and used as an excuse to unload ammunition onto a faceless enemy. The story rips off zombie and demonic possession films and becomes really confusing and frustrating as it mixes the visual cues of those films with anti-Christian iconography and then ascribes these images to the angels of God. There are serious theological and political implications for this but Legion is not interested in that, instead rushing to its next scene of anonymous, angel-possessed people being mowed down by machine gun fire. The ending of the film is a literal deus ex machina conclusion, in which the powers of the supernatural swoop in to save our heroes, although one imagines that it must be difficult for the heroes to feel humble or pious, since this same force spent most of the film’s running time trying to kill them.
Bottom Line: Legion is essentially a rehash of the Tales from the Crypt feature Demon Knight, but without the Crypt Keeper or Billy Zane and it is much worse for the lack. Viewers would be better served checking out that film, The Prophesy, or Constantine than wasting their time on this piece of crap.
Episode: #275 (February 7, 2010)