Legion is the latest post-apocalyptic film to hit the market, and it stars Paul Bettany in an unconventional yet angelic role. The movie marks the first major release for writer/director Scott Stewart, who’s been on the visual effects side of filmmaking for years, but is now working on bringing his own projects to life. Legion is a Christian-themed movie, with a splash of zombie-horror, Western ideals, and a whole lot of action.
- Director: Scott Stewart
- Writers: Peter Schink and Scott Stewart
- Cast: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Doug Jones, Kate Walsh
- Cinematography: John Lindley
- Music: John Frizzell
When God grows tired of humans and their disobedience, he sends the Archangel Michael (Bettany) to wipe them off the face of the earth. More specifically he needs to kill the one child that can stop God’s wrath and save mankind. The only problem is that child hasn’t been born yet, and the mother is a waitress at a small diner in the middle of the Mojave Desert. Michael defies God’s Will and decides to save the child, which turns the restaurant into a war zone between heaven and earth. He will have to combat an entire legion of angels led by the heavily favored, Gabriel.
- Entertaining: The film has plenty of action but it wasn’t filled with over the top gore. There was a decent amount of entertainment value within the characters and their interactions with one another outside of the violence.
- The Dumb Moments: There is nothing more annoying than watching a girl run out into a sea of zombies only to meet her maker. The writers did a pretty good job of integrating the characters dumb actions with the story. Although it was clearly to create conflict, the purpose played out very well.
- You Got The Guns Where?: Paul Bettany starts the movie on a mission to get guns, so he walks into a closed store and grabs a bunch. How does he know that this particular place has the goods? Who knows? It seemed like the shop owner wasn’t even aware that there was enough ammo to arm a small militia in the back room. Check that off things to explain to the audience.
- The Acting: There were moments, flashes even, where the acting of the two main characters, Charlie and Jeep (Black), was some of the worse I’d ever seen. And even the ridiculously talented Charles S. Dutton found himself muttering in a bad southern accent.
- The Names: This may be a little nit-picky, but the name Jeep is lame. Obviously the writers were trying to get creative, but that one was just a little too much. Every time the waitress Charlie screamed his name it sounded like, “Cheep! Cheep! Cheeeep!”
- Defies Logic: Without giving too much away there are several issues with Charlie and all things related to her baby. First of all, a woman that is eight months pregnant will not be as agile as she is. Two, she smokes (enough said). Three, she has the superhuman ability of giving birth in a minute. Apparently, the key to easy childbirth is Paul Bettany coaxing you along. Finally, not only can she pop that thing out like a torpedo, but she is up and running around just minutes after without any sort of medical care or anesthesia. One can only suspend belief up to a certain point.
- Miscasting: This problem is very closely related to the bad acting. A few of the casting choices were not as good as they could have been. Kate Walsh was irritating and not nearly old enough to have a teenage daughter. There were a few issues with Dennis Quaid as well, which is unfortunate considering his acting background.
Surprisingly, this movie was actually enjoyable, and is a good popcorn flick to see over the weekend. The plot and parts of the film are certainly flawed, but all in all it was still entertaining, and that’s what you’re paying for.
Legion hits theaters on January 22, 2010