Thursday, February 25, 2010
Director: Scott Stewart
Cast: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Kate Walsh
Kevin Durand, Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black
Adrianne Palicki, Willa Holland, Jon Tenney
It's angels in dirty places in Scott Stewart's "Legion"; a post apocalyptic thriller that uses biblical references to back up its emptiness while giving us the sight of badass angels fighting each other with machine guns.
Bettany plays the Archangel Michael who lands in an L.A. gun warehouse one night, stocks up on ammo and leads a rebellion against god, who asked him to destroy the human race.
He chooses a lonely diner in the middle of the Mojave desert as his headquarters. That the diner is filled with the kinds of people that constitute disaster movie ethnic and gender quota is just a nice coincidence.
Among the people are the owner (Quaid) and his son (Black), the faithful cook (Dutton) and a pregnant single waitress (Palicki) whose unborn child might represent the faith of humanity (nobody said the movie was subtle).
Soon they start receiving all sorts of plagues which range from knife bearing six year olds, to good ole fashioned teenage daughter (Holland) vs. mom (Walsh) drama.
You don't have to be a scholar to know this isn't the kind of movie to revisit and uncover new layers in subsequent viewings, it's main aim is probably to entertain us and itself, to a degree, with its oh so serious attempt at delivering faith-cum-fun.
The actors are great in how they manage to keep straight faces when the screenplay often verges into the ridiculous. When the characters are made to deliver lines like "not everybody can play a hero" you just know you're in the land of Ah-nuld and to find any trace of method genius or Shakespearean classicism here would be most likely a miracle.
Anyone who chooses to ponder too deeply into the contrived spiritual matters at the center of "Legion" (as many extreme Christian groups will obviously do) wouldn't need to be so enlightened to figure out that the movie is all about praising god.
For how else could Michael be the hero if it doesn't mean that even this rebellion is part of god's design?
Those less theologically inclined will be thankful that this supreme being didn't just choose to snap his fingers and destroy mankind, but he created a zombie massacre out of it for them to enjoy their pop corn.
What you need to ask yourself while watching "Legion" is: will you give that leap of faith and surrender to its cheesiness?
If not there's probably thousands of movies which will be more heavenly than this.