Monday, March 29, 2010


(Transcribed from 91.9FM's 91 Seconds on Film segment)

It's January and the cinematic dumping ground is officially upon us. If Moses had access to the movie Legion, the Jews would have been freed from Egypt in just under two hours without the hassle of plagues or sea parting. By all logic, Legion shouldn't be a movie. This means that a script was written, someone okayed the script, found financing and budget, A-list actors, crew, cooks, carpenters and a studio willing to put their name on it before it comes even close to a theatrical release. How any of these parties got involved beyond the scripting point can only be deduced to an inexplicably large sum of money.

So Legion gives us the Paul Bettany as the Archangel Michael who has come to 21st century earth to save humanity from a vengeful God by preserving the life of a baby that is apparently important to this scenario for reasons we never find out. So he holes up in a middle of nowhere desert diner with a band of red-shirts that are either wholly unlikable or terribly dull. So instead of applying anything from the book or revelations, God decides he's an Evil Dead fan and possesses humans to serve as an easily disposable army against Bettany and his sharpshooting stowaways. For a director with a background firmly rooted in special effects work, the visual effects in Legion are laughable and frequently edited around with more shots of blazing gun barrels and bouncing machine gun shells. It's hard to tell if the actors were in on a joke the director wasn't aware of because Dennis Quaid and Charles S. Dutton phone in the best performances of their latter day careers, unfortunately through characters that have either no thematic relevance or real narrative purpose beyond demon fodder. I'd say that Legion is to the point of "so bad it's funny" but after a certain point even the unintentional laughs become predictable creating a misfire of truly biblical proportions.

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