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The Angels are Here. They Want to Exterminate Us.

Movie Title: Legion (2010)
Spoilers: Yes, and you'll be glad I did.

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If there is one thing the masses love, it is the careless tossing in of obscure bible references into movies about war and bloody conflicts. It makes them feel like they are taking part – or else learning about – some cryptic tidbit of truth from “God's Book.” Sure enough, the title of this film is found in the gospels.

There it is, in Mark 5:9: “And Jesus asked him (a possessed man), ‘What is thy name?’ And he answered, saying, ‘My name is Legion: for we are many.’” A man who gets possessed with “many devils” (Luke's account, Luke 8:30) is said to be possessed with a legion. But Jesus refers to angels the very same way in Matthew 26:53 when he refers to his being able to call “twelve legions of angels” to destroy the world.

There is little difference between the work of angels and the work of demons in scripture. An angel of God was said to have slain 185,000 Assyrian troops while they slept (2 Kings 19:32-37). The film Legion carries God’s dirty work to a whole new level.

As in the days just prior to Noah's flood, God gets really pissed at humanity...again (even though he knew beforehand that we were going to tick him off someday)...and he sends his angels to “possess” humans and tear things up while deciding whether or not to send humanity the way of the dinosaurs. Behold, Legion's plot.

But some seem to think that angels are nurturers. Isn't that why nearly every housewife you know reads books on angels? But this is the God of the Bible we're talking about. People have only made this God nice since becoming civilized themselves not very long ago. Read the scriptures. The God of the Bible is not nice, and that is the only thing the film gets right.

But we don't need biblical references to ask what we are to make of a film where granny drives her boat-shaped 1980s car into an out-of-the-way gas station/diner where nobody's happy, orders a fully rare steak (which is served to her without question or concern by the waitress), and proceeds to cuss up a storm before going on a wall-crawling killing spree. That's not ballsy or cool or creative writing. It's just insane!

So, back to the plot…God gets pissed. He wants to punish humanity. Instead of using natural disasters (like he did on the Haitians) or unleashing actual demons, the angels are sent to do what should have been the Devil’s work. But one angel rebells. He's here to help humanity, not destroy it. His name is Michael, the archangel. So God gets pissed at Michael and sends the angel Gabriel to show Michael how things are done.

While helping expendable humans kill angel-possessed humans, a de-winged Michael is trying to save an unborn child who is supposed to be humanity's redemption. The only hope for the future of the human race is a trailer park trash white woman's unborn baby. Didn't this sort of thing happen in Jerusalem 2,000 years ago if you accept the Christian mythology? The movie is senseless all the way, as if a Tennessee hillbilly read Daniel and Revelation and then decided to make a movie about it.

The acting is atrocious. Lucas “The Fast and The Furious” Black is Jeep Hanson, that man who never quite looks older than a high school kid. Black has that other quality of looking like a varsity football player who says to his girlfriend at an unwanted break-up: “NO, IT'S NOT OVER!” He looks too clueless to play a part with dignity like an angel. Thankfully, someone else realized this, and so Black plays the part of a decent young man who acts as a husband to “Charlie” (Adrianne Palicki), the woman pregnant with humanity's hope.

I never thought any role played by Dennis Quaid could be reduced to looking like a character from a ruined Saturday Night Live skit, but it happened here. Everybody in this supernatural suck-fest is as badly done as a dumbest criminals contest.

Taking the gold is the dialogue. If a Tennessee hillbilly wrote the script, a stoned seventh-grader was the brilliant editor who put the final touches on things, making sure that with Legion, the audience got possibly the worst dialogue of any major release film in the last several years.

Jumbled beneath “tough guy” stare-downs and gun-slinging shoot-outs is playful CGI work…humans sporting jagged carnivore teeth, boiling skin, elongating jaws, needless growls, and human beings “possessed” by angels who morph them into corny creepy-crawly attackers with disproportionately-sized limbs...who can still be repelled successfully by shotguns and AK-47s.

The sideline preachiness about having faith in God and the frequent use of religious clich├ęs should by now come as a surprise to no one. Those are small things in light of the film’s many greater flaws. I'm an atheist and even I think more of the angels and the Bible than this.

(JH)

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Grade: F (0 Stars)
Rated: R (for violence and language)
Director: Scott Stewart
Summary: An out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race when God loses faith in humankind.
Starring: Paul Bettany "Michael," Lucas Black "Jeep Hanson," Tyrese Gibson "Kyle Williams," Adrianne Palicki "Charlie," Charles S. Dutton "Percy Walker," Kevin Durand "Gabriel," Jon Tenney "Howard Anderson," Willa Holland "Audrey Anderson," Kate Walsh "Sandra Anderson," Dennis Quaid "Bob Hanson"
Genre: Action / Fantasy / Horror / Thriller
Trailer

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