February 24, 2011

Rabid Rewind: Legion

starring Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki
directed by Scott Stewart
screenplay by Peter Schink & Scott Stewart
Screen Gems (2010)

It's a cryin' shame to see a movie that had potential to be a good pulpy action film wind up a disjointed mess like Legion. When I first saw trailers for this movie in late '09, I had my fingers crossed. Then I started catching the reviews for it, and my hopes were dashed. That's all a bit melodramatic, I suppose--and needlessly so--but so was this movie. For a film filled the most ridiculous action sequences and utter disregard for coherence, it takes itself very seriously.

The world's about to end because God has given up on humanity, so he's ordered his archangels to lead their armies to Earth to kill everyone--but most importantly to kill an unborn child. But Michael refuses and is cast out of Heaven. What makes the child so special? Beats the hell out of me, because the makers of this film didn't bother with the why. In fact, there are a lot of why's that are ignored throughout this movie.

So Michael falls to Earth and seeks out the child in a desolated diner in the Nevada desert, all the while the rest of the planet is razed by God's army of angels, led by the angel of death Gabriel. Now, part of the problem I had with the majority of the movie was how an army of angels was being held at bay by a rag-tag collection of humans and their arsenal of military-grade weaponry. Yes, the lesser angels possess humans of a weaker spirit, but half the cast holed up in the diner could be described as that, yet go unpossessed. It's irritating when a movie silently insists that you stop noticing the parade of imperfections.

It's not all bad. The performances from the actors are, for the most part, very watchable in spite of some very stilted dialogue and hair-brained scenarios. If there's a saving grace to the film, it's having actors like Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, and a couple others on the cast to lend a little gravity to key scenes. A lesser cast would have made this an abhorrent direct-to-DVD catastrophe.

Don't expect Legion 2 any time soon, although I wouldn't have expected Hollywood to make Wild Things 4, but there was a trailer for that on the DVD. God may not have given up on humanity, but sometimes when I see a bad movie, I do.


  1. Just had to chime in and say that this made me laugh!

  2. It had such a promising cast too . . . Meh. I keep my copy for the nights when I want to get drunk, because the movie increases in hilarity when inebriated. That, and I'm a sucker for films with devils and angels . . .

  3. I actually enjoyed this movie more than I thought I would. Maybe it's because I went in with no expectations. But yes, I agree about the fight scenes and the unanswered questions.

  4. Lenore - At least one of us was entertained as a result of this movie. :)

    Martin - Drunkeness may have helped me too.

    Midnyte - Zero expectations. Yup, that's pretty much a prerequisite for bad movies.