One can just imagine God getting so frustrated with all of the mishaps and mayhem created by mankind that he decides to pack it all up and wipe the slate clean, like an angry dad driving the kids to a vacation fun spot, who turns around and yells out, “That’s it! We’re turning around!” Except that when you’re God, you send an army of angels to do your work.
Naturally any army needs munitions. These angels get sent for one purpose only: to kick some butt. It’s another movie about the end of the world. This movie is different from all of the other silver screen apocalypses (The Book of Eli) because God is the bad guy in the ilk of a bloodthirsty mobster.
But even kingpins get betrayed. The Archangel Michael (the already ghostly Paul Bettany) files his letter of resignation with the big guy to pursue other opportunities, namely standing up with humankind in an off-the-beaten-path old diner in New Mexico. There’s a pregnant woman there and her baby who has a special purpose — he’s humanity’s last hope.
The end result is a battle royale between Michael and the army. Legion is only 90 minutes long and it takes more than 20 minutes at the beginning for anything to actually happen. Once they do though, it’s really just a one-note wonder and that note is a gunshot. There’s a lot of gory blood splatters too. Perhaps to prove that Wim Wenders isn’t the only guy who can helm a movie about angels, director and co-writer Scott Stewart brought us this heaping pile of garbage as a way of striking out upon his own creative path.
There’s a creed that says ‘if you can’t say anything nice about something, don’t say anything at all.’ Good critics avoid this creed at all costs while casually fitting in 25-cent words from the thesaurus. So here goes.
The writing is insipid. The directing is uninspired. The acting is banal. The cinematography is atrocious. It has no cultural or moral value whatsoever. The commercials spoil two of the most interesting angel incarnations and even they were laughable abominations. I didn’t care for the title and I wish that Paul Bettany would find a way to branch out into roles that don’t play off his inherent creepiness. I haven’t seen Creation yet but I’ve got my fingers crossed. I didn’t even get more than a minute to enjoy the fantastically talented physical actor Doug Jones as the ice cream man.
All in all, this is no Exorcist nor is it even Rambo. It’s an Underworld rip-off written by two hacks with nothing better to do with their time or yours. If you want to enjoy a long walk then do yourself a huge favour — avoid the road apples. And stay away from Legion.
Directed by: Scott Stewart
Starring: Paul Bettany, Tyrese Gibson, Charles S. Dutton, Kate Walsh, Dennis Quaid and Doug Jones
Now playing at: Cineplex North Edmonton and Scotiabank Theatre