Thursday, January 28, 2010


STARS: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Kevin Durand
DIRECTOR: Scott Stewart

So what is God gonna do when he gets tired of all the bull doo-doo from these vile, egregious humans? He gonna send some angels (who are more like hit-men) down to kick some serious BUTT--dat what he gonna do! Of course, if you're going to buy into the premise of Legion, the new action/thriller from director Scott Stewart, you must assume that God is a dude who gets pissed-off and likes to destroy people and stuff at whim--rather than the idea that God is Love. (But if He didn't want us to work it all out on our own, then why did He give us free will...hmmm?)

Pat Robertson-esque theology aside, the plot of Legion centers around a group of diverse personalities holed up in a remote desert diner: There's Bob, the owner of this rundown dump (Dennis Quaid) ; his kindhearted son, Jeep (Lucas Black) ; an unmarried pregnant girl named Charlie, whom Jeep has befriended (Adrianne Palicki) ; and a few other stereotypes, including a middle aged married couple (she's a drama queen) and their sexy young daughter, and an enigmatic stranger who only stopped to make a phone call.

The group is befriended by the angel Michael, (Paul Bettany) who originally came down to instigate something of an apocalypse on the orders of "God," but had a change of heart (there's that free will operating again) and now thinks that humans are worth saving. (He must have gotten a eye full of Shakira.) But he's not the kind of angel you'd like to have as your guardian--he attracts the wrong element--namely, an army of other angels who have possessed the bodies of ordinary folk and now look and act like half zombie and half Jim Carrey in The Mask. They're after Charlie's baby who, as it turns out, is going to be the only human hope left to save the world--though we haven't a clue as to why an airheaded, smoking-while-she's-pregnant bimbo would be chosen as his mother. But none of the bunch at the diner knows this initially--they're just told to shoot first (with automatic weapons that Michael has supplied) and ask questions later. Michael has his own battle looming with the angel Gabriel, (Kevin Durand) who is doing old irate God's bidding by leading the assault on the diner.

The audience at the showing I attended snickered at some of the unintentionally funny stuff in this movie, highlighted by Jeanette Miller's performance as an initially kindly old lady who transforms into a gutter mouthed, neck biting, wall climbing monstrosity. Senior citizens are noted for getting CRANKY at times, but this lady takes the cake!

And why in the world, when we're so far beyond "Beam me up, Scotty," do the angels still have to have WINGS in all of these films--do they think audiences are so unsophisticated we can't just accept that So and So is an angel--even though he looks pretty much like everyone else? Plainly put, it looks stupid.

Nonetheless, Legion has some decent action scenes, as director Scott Stewart's background is in special effects, and there's enough suspense to keep you hanging around to see if there really might be any hope left of saving the world...or whether we're all massively screwed.