Short version: Legion is basically a schlocky B-movie – with a very ridiculous premise.
Screen Rant reviews Legion
I knew going in that Legion was going to be… odd. A movie where an angel comes to earth, is wearing some sort of electronic shock collar and uses machine guns was bound to be a bit, shall we say, unconventional.
Paul Bettany stars as the archangel Michael, who suddenly appears on Earth on December 23rd in Los Angeles. His shock collar (for lack of a better term, I don’t know what its function was) falls off his neck and he summarily cuts off his angelic wings (yes, it hurt).
He locates a huge armory rather quickly and loads up with all kinds of semi-automatic goodness. When he is stopped by a couple of LA police officers, he disarms one and holds him hostage while the other turns into what seems to be some demonic version of the other officer. Michael gets away and drives off in the cop car.
Meanwhile in the California desert in a trailer park called Paradise Falls (paradise falls, get it?) we meet a young man called Jeep Hanson (Lucas Black) and a pregnant young lady named Charlie (played by Adrianne Palicki). The father is unknown, it’s not Jeep – who is the proverbial nice guy who wants to take care of her. Of course it’s the old “I like you as a friend” from her end.
Their first clue that something isn’t quite right is when a nice old lady comes into the diner and soon starts swearing like a Marine, spouts sharpened teeth, starts attacking the customers and starts literally climbing the walls. In the diner we have a semi-old yuppie couple and their slutty dressing late teenage daughter, Tyrese Gibson (who gives probably the best performance in the film) as a guy just passing through, Dennis Quaid as the owner of the place (he’s Jeep’s father) and Charles S. Dutton as the only religious guy in the place.
Eventually Michael shows up and arms them all and makes it clear he’s there to protect Charlie and the unborn child. It seems that God is fed up with the human race (again) and instead of a flood he’s sending hordes of what can only in this film be called angels to wipe out humanity. It seems that while God has lost faith in mankind, Michael hasn’t, and the baby that Charlie is carrying is the only chance at salvation for humanity. The problem is that the angels have been tasked with killing the child.
We’re given some cool machine gun action and a couple of other scenes that are cool where our intrepid heroes try to keep the “angels” at bay. Also, when another angel comes on the scene, he looks pretty cool in all his winged glory and with medieval-looking clothing/armor and weapon, giving one the idea that Thor might actually work on screen.
Outside of that however, the quote that kept coming to mind for me was the line spoken at the end of Star Trek V by Bill Shatner as Captain Kirk: “What does God need with a starship?” What was up with some sort of electronic collar on angels? Why did they need machine guns? Why did one “angel” look like a demon straight out of hell, while others retained their bodies and others apparantly possessed human bodies? If they were truly angels, why could they be killed with gunfire?
Not enough questions for you? How about who exactly is this child? Born on Christmas, leads one to assume it’s the return of Christ – but then why would God want to KILL it (nevermind that he’s not supposed to return as an infant)? Why do the angels look demonic? Why would God do this when he knows all of history before it happens instead of allowing Revelation to happen?
And there are even more unanswered questions than those…
Really this is about one step removed from a zombie movie, dressed up to be something “deeper.” I’d say if you’re interested, wait for the DVD.
If you want to discuss the film in detail, including plot spoilers, head on over to our Legion Spoiler Discussion.
And if you’ve seen it, here’s your chance to rate the film: