I love apocalyptic thrillers, I love movies that take a look at Biblical characters, I love a lot of things about movies that challenge ones spirituality. I was actually looking forward to what I had seen in the previews and early trailers of the new movie Legion. There was something unsettling about the concept though. Legion appeared to be a movie displaying a civil war in heaven among the angels of God. It appeared to be a movie displaying a civil war due to God’s desire to destroy all of humanity. In some ways that is what the movie is, but instead of a civil war it is one angel’s rebellion against God, the rebellion of Arch Angel Michael who arrives to earth shortly before God is to destroy the earth. Along the way though, out in the desert is a little bar named Paradise Falls where a group of interesting characters are about to face their own pending doom.
Paradise Falls has a strange group of employees and restaurant guest from various backgrounds and walks of life. From owner Bob Hanson played by Dennis Quaid, to his son Jeep played by Lucas Black who has a passion for waitress, 8 month pregnant Charlie played by Adrianne Palicki and others such as Percy Walker, one of the only enjoyable characters in the film played by Charles Dutton. We see a variety of characters that seem to have some promise. Some of the characters are somewhat likeable, yet we know so little of any of them that it is hard for the viewer to really care. Their experiences are varied but so little character development takes place that what we do see, may cause some to lose any interest in the characters of develop any likeability for them.
Legion opens with the arrival of Arch Angel Michael as he leaves Heaven to come to earth to protect humanity. He has rebelled against God and is taking on the concept of protecting humanity for some reason, which we are never given real clarity on. In his early arrival, we see the possession of two police officers by apparently other angels who have come to act on God’s plan to destroy the earth. Shortly thereafter the angel Gabriel arrives and attempts to kill Michael, but Michael escapes to travel to Paradise Falls where for some reason there is the need to save the child which is to be born to Charlie. For the rest of the movie Michael is working with the humans at Paradise Falls in an attempt to save Charlie and her soon to be born baby from Gabriel and the multitudes of angels that traveled with him to carry on God’s work. Some angels maintain their angelic form, while others posses’ people, those that posses’ people take on horrific forms to destroy the humans God desires to destroy.
Legion develops with sloppy editing, story telling, and as confusing a plot and concept as I have seen in a major film in some time. The characters, plot and story are as sloppy and insulting to the audience as any movie I think I have ever seen. There are so many unanswered questions that I frankly can’t put together much of a story synopsis that makes any sense at all. I left this movie with more questions about what I had seen on screen than I did answers, for example, why does the baby boy born to Charlie on Christmas day represent the salvation of humanity. How is it that one angel can supposedly defend and protect himself against the whole host of angels including the Angel Gabriel and multitudes of other angels that are attempting to fulfill the desire of God. Why do some angels’ posses’ people and some don’t, what is the need of that? Then for me, the primary question, if God exists as the film presumes he does, why does he need the angels to carry out his desire to destroy the earth? If one angel rebels against God, isn’t God capable and able to take care of his own business? While there may be some imagery that represents Satan, remember, in the story of Lucifer, there where multitudes of angels, the bible says as many as 1/3 of the angels of Heaven that went with him. Poor ol’ Michael goes at it all alone.
For all of Legion’s inadequacies, the use of Biblical characters should have one presenting some interest to see what the Bible actually says about angels, especially Michael and Gabriel. Both of those angels are represented in the Bible, the concept of God’s desire to destroy humanity at one point in history is there, but it isn’t this story. In fact this story is a contrast to the God we ultimately see in the Bible, a God that loves humanity so much that he found a way to provide salvation for them. Legion should cause one to reflect on the position that God at one time, according to the Bible, destroy all of humanity because of their turning away from him, but while it appears to mirror parts of that story, it never delivers. A fair question would be, if God did this once, why wouldn’t he do it again, especially if we are to believe the street preachers and prophets who present us with concepts where God is going to destroy the earth for a variety of reasons? One of the confusing aspects in Legion is that even though there appears to be some good people left, who believe in God, are willing to serve and protect others, why would God still desire to use his angels to destroy the whole of humanity which he according to the movie was created to be in a higher place than the angels?
The main thing I liked about Legion was the potential for what it could have been in the characters it explores. There are as many interesting characters as I have seen in a movie for a long time. From a little old lady who cusses like a sailor prior to turning into a demon to destroy an innocent for confronting her about her mouth, to a old salty cook who has as deep a passion and love for God as anyone presented in a movie in some time. Unfortunately, while there is potential in the character there is tragedy in the direction and story as there are so many open ended questions opening up this movie for a sequel that frankly insult the intelligence of the movie going audience as I have seen in some time, maybe ever. I don’t have a problem with sequels, Resident Evil for example did the same thing, but it respected the audience it played for. Legion is so bad that I would like a refund for the $7 I spent for a matinee. Heck, I would feel ripped off if I had spent $1 at the Red Box DVD rental store on this one. If using a Netflix account to watch the free online viewing I would be disappointed for the waste of time as I could have found more value in my time by taking a nap.
Now I am aware of the aspects of negativity in a movie, for those who read my reviews, you know I am seldom this negative. I could talk about how the film insulted my faith, but I don’t need to, on the technical merits alone I believe Legion was a waste of time. It simply didn’t hold water within even its own variations of Biblical characters and the role of God. While there may be some ways to view the movie as presenting ultimately a changing, or loving God, while the movie may show glimmers of possibility, it just doesn’t deliver on hardly any account.
I haven’t done this in a long time, that is give this bad of a review, but I can’t help it, on a scale of 1 – 10, for the 3 folks who totally agreed with me I spoke to as I left the movie, I give a very disappointing 3.
To see the trailer for Legion click on the following video, if it don't appear, click on the link:
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