If I were to come across LEGION on a made for TV Sci-Fi network special, I’d think, “all right, not bad.” But as it stands this is a film with a few stars, a strong production and a theatrical release, which it warranted none of the above.
Lets break down the story. God is angry with mankind because they are so sinful- hmmm, is this considered an oxymoron? So he decides to send his angels to annihilate all humans. The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) still believes in humanity and he disobeys God to protect the people- so does this mean Michael is better than God? The angels possess the weak willed, which is exactly the same result of a demonic possession only it’s an angelic possession. The possessed become overly vulgar, twisted and murderers- sounds quite heavenly. Michael and a small band of uninteresting people hold up in a diner in the middle of the desert during the Apocalypse. Michael arms everyone with machine guns to tear through the possessed like paper. The goal is to make sure a pregnant white trash teen named Charlie (Adrianna Palicki), who hates herself and her unborn child, deliver her baby. For some reason or another the baby is supposed to restore humanity- except that was never explained like most plot details.
I’m the first to admit I like Science Fiction films and I’m pretty open minded to most story lines. However, LEGION builds against a basic rule yet never expands anywhere beyond that. Regardless of one’s belief, to have an angel that God created to know better than God is tough to get on board with. If you make God weak, he ceases to be God. Also, if you are using a cool tough angel to do your fighting why bother with machine guns? Spraying bullets at cars and people is nothing new and interesting. It’s like watching someone read a book
None of the characters have any sort of arc or redemption. They all act as if they have some deeper issue but none of them get fully explained or resolved. It’s important that an audience becomes attached to the characters so that we might care for them providing the film with more tension. Director Scott Stewart chose not to adhere to this rule whatsoever. Without being to rude to the acting and their dialogue, I’ll simply state: Lucas Black, Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson and Kate Walsh were also in the film.
Stewart comes from a special effects background so it’s only natural that he would build his film around effects and camera tricks. That aspect of the film was the highlight using really cool imagery with some exciting stunts. However, every other aspect was lacking so much that obviously the entire script was built around those scenes, specifically one involving a possessed grandmother, which is by far and away the creepiest, most memorable scene. But then as soon as the scene is over we get the gem question of, “Why, does that guy have a gun?” Really? That’s the question in your head? Not, how is this human defying gravity and physics? Why does she want to eat our flesh?
Video: The picture looks great. All new films are really capitalizing with the Blu-ray quality
Audio: The sound was decent but the volume of the music and explosion levels were a bit louder than the voice levels.
Creating the Apocalypse (23:41): This explains a handful of physical effects with wires and tricks or gags including the possessed ice cream man, possessed Gladys (the old lady), the fight between Michael and Peter and the car crashes.
Ironically, Stewart at one point says, “The anticipation of the scare is better. Give the audience time to be invested in the characters.”
Humanity’s Last Line of Defense (11:32): This basically goes over the cast and their characters, interviewing each of them as they give their thoughts on who the character is. I’m always surprised at how serious some actors are about their role in films like this.
From Pixels to Pictures (10:56): A look at the computer generated visual effects, sometimes making small adjustments or finely tuning some of the physical tricks used.