Main cast: Paul Bettany (Michael), Lucas Black (Jeep Hanson), Tyrese Gibson (Kyle Williams), Adrianne Palicki (Charlie), Charles S Dutton (Percy Walker), Kevin Durand (Gabriel), Jon Tenney (Howard Anderson), Willa Holland (Audrey Anderson), Kate Walsh (Sandra Anderson), and Dennis Quaid (Bob Hanson)
Director: Scott Stewart
Legion can be described as a movie that massively borrows chunks of ideas from the movie The Terminator in order to tell people that God sucks.
The movie revolves around some folks stuck in a diner in the middle of Paradise Falls, a little pit of contrived anvil located in the middle of a desert. We meet the embittered owner Bob Hanson, his simple son Jeep, and his cook Percy Walker. Percy is the Religious Black Man. A pregnant waitress Charlie works there as well. She lives in a trailer provided by Bob and is the object of Jeep’s affection. Charlie is your token “woman with an unhappy past and sad history with unworthy men about to be redeemed by having a baby” character. We also have three sad sacks – Harold, his shrew wife Sandra, and the rebellious emo daughter Audrey – whose car happened to break down here and they have to throw themselves at the mercy of the Hanson idiots to get the car fixed. Finally, the walking racist stereotype of the Repentant Black Ex-Gangster, Kyle Williams, shows up lost and looking for a phone.
Soon, the diner is plagued by swarms of locusts, monster zombie old ladies, and murderous possessed kiddies. And then, rumbling out of the horizon, arrives a bad-ass fellow claiming to be the angel Michael himself, armed to the teeth with weapons of mass destruction. The apocalypse is here, but Michael is determined to ensure that the baby Charlie is carrying will live, because that bastard brat is going to be the new Jesus or something. Interestingly enough, this makes Charlie and Jeep the equivalents of Mary and Joseph.
When it goes right into the action, Legion is a decently entertaining film. But unfortunately, these scenes are actually quite few, spaced out between long and often boring heavy-handed scenes of character monologues. Such exposition scenes may be interesting if the characters aren’t so dreadfully clichéd and uninspired. I don’t know what screenwriters Peter Schink and Scott Stewart are trying to say here. On one hand, I get heavy-handed speeches about the meaning of faith, so I’d expect that this is a movie with heavy religious leanings. At the same time, this movie portrays God as nothing more than a brat who decides to kill all humans because He is having a childish tantrum, with Michael actually telling Gabriel that while Gabriel gives God what He asks, Michael is giving God what He needs. In other words, God is fallible and one can only hope that those who died trying to save Bastard the Wonder Child would be given ample compensation in heaven. All this seems like subversive atheist propaganda to me. So which is which?
Still, Paul Bettany is too cool for words. His Michael can be considered a direct rip-off of a certain Kyle Reese without the romantic entanglements with the lead female character, but this guy is pure bad ass. Gabriel isn’t bad as an angry Christopher Walken clone, but he is stuck in a cheesy and ridiculous costume made of cheap aluminium foil, sigh. God isn’t just a childish brat, He’s depriving His angels the chance to look good.
Legion has the potential to become a cult classic, if only because Paul Bettany’s Michael is cool enough to carry a franchise, but it is also a movie marred by a barely coherent script full of corny lines and clichéd characterization. Just try not to think too hard when you watch this movie.