Monday, January 25, 2010

The Legion of Stupid Heroes

If I were a staunch Christian, I'd probably find Legion very offensive to my beliefs. Basically, God decides to destroy mankind by having angels possess people and turn the world into a George Romero film. A renegade angel thinks this is wrong and decides to defy God and save a baby who, for some dumbass reason that's never fully explained, can stop the angels from killing everything. This movie makes the argument that God, seen by his followers as perfect and wise, is flatout wrong in his judgment of humanity and that one of His angels knows more than He does. As I said, if I were Christian, I'd find this sacrilegious and would hate it. As I am not religious, I'll just have to hate this movie for its abject stupidity.

Legion opens in some generic city with the angel Michael (Paul Bettany whose presence here indicates he didn't save much of that DaVinci Code money) dropping in from Heaven, cutting off his wings and collecting an amount of weaponry normally only held by radical cults who do so to show everyone how peace loving they are. He's confronted by two police officers who, for some reason, don't accept his "I'm trying to save the world" explanation when a building blows up and he comes walking out of it. One of the cops then does that head shaking thing you've seen many other times in movies and television to show they're being possessed. Turns out he's being possessed by an angel. You can tell because angels are beings of light and beauty and wonder and the possessed humans have black eyes and baby teeth so yeah, angels. Anyhoo, Michael kicks some ass, steals the cop car and heads out to the desert to find a girl named Charlie.

Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) is a waitress in some desert town called Paradise Falls, an odd name since there is no water in sight. She works for diner owner Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid whose presence here shows he didn't save much of that G.I. Joe or Day After Tomorrow money). Her job duties seem to be whining nonstop about her eight-months-along pregnancy and being the object of unrequited love for Bob's son (Lucas Black), a kid he must have hated so much that he stuck him with the name Jeep. They join a cast of colorful characters who gather at the diner just in time for the end of the world. After an incident with an old lady who perhaps thought everyone would be impressed with her imitation of 28 Days Later, Michael shows up and informs them that a big old buttload of angels is coming to kill Charlie and her baby because they baby will save the world. I don't think they ever said why her baby, who the baby's father was or anything like that. No time to ask stuff like that anyway as the possessed show up and we find out that angels, creatures older than time who once stood toe to toe with the armies of Hell, are easily dispatched by an AK-47. Then more stuff happens. The End!

If Legion sounds familiar it's because they've basically ripped off The Terminator. A powerful warrior comes from another time and place and battle other powerful warriors bent on destroying humanity. I wonder if James Cameron is pissed about the way other filmmakers are now profiting from the work he ripped off from Harlan Ellison a quarter century ago.

Legion is yet another dumb movie about dumb people who do dumb things such as when the angels tie up a hostage and leave him out in what's obviously a trap yet people go running out after him anyway. A movie like this can only be redeemed by action sequences so exciting that you can't take your eyes off the screen, a state of being that does not exist in this film. As I said, you can hate it because it's stupid or offensive or what the hell, find a new reason all your own.


dannybuntu said...

I consider myself as a moderate Christian but I am not in the least bit offended.

Confused. Yes.

Offended, probably because of the waste of money.

They got it all wrong...

dannybuntu said...

Can I add another more. Thanks for the splendid review. It helped me understand the movie somewhat given its confusing nature. I couldn't stop laughing man.

Anyway, for some reason, I want to build my own diner here in the Philippines.

Michael Clear said...

Thanks for the compliment. Go see The Book of Eli and see if that offends your religious beliefs. According to that movie, God wants His message of peace and love preserved by a guy who will literally hack off your hand if you cross him.

dannybuntu said...

The movie sounds intriguing, will watch it. But I doubt anything will offend my religious beliefs - they are after all "my beliefs".

Cheers Man!

I think God will understand if we don't understand Him at all...