Lackluster ‘Legion’ Lays Flat in Box Office
If the point of this article was to describe everything that’s great about the new movie “Legion,” this would have been over by now. Director Scott Stewart partners with Sony Pictures to create an action horror thriller about scores of angels sent from Heaven to destroy mankind after God loses faith in humanity. A remote diner becomes the critical battleground for the survival of humans after God’s right-hand man, archangel Michael (Paul Bettany), defies God’s orders to kill the unborn child of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) – a waitress at the eatery.
The unborn child happens to be humanity’s “only hope” for survival, for reasons that are never explained to the viewer. Despite the thrilling action sequences shown over and over again in the trailers, “Legion” delivers very few actions sequences and even less thrills throughout the entire, dreary 100 minutes of the movie.
The laundry list of problems starts with the cheesy, cliché script that every actor in this movie was forced to memorize. Top this off with poor acting, frequent and unnecessarily long character development scenes, a plot that just doesn’t make sense and you have, potentially, one of the worst movies of 2010.
From the first 10 minutes of the movie, “Legion” looks promising and exciting. There are explosions, weapons, and a couple great fight scenes with cops. In fact there are many parallels to “The Terminator” and “Terminator 2.” However, the dialog throughout “Legion” is painful at worst and laughable at best.
It quickly bogs down any hope for this movie to be enjoyable whatsoever. Lines that start out with, “When I was a shorty…” by the archetypical gangster black guy Kyle (Tyrese Gibson) bursts into the movie in his Escalade arguing with his “baby momma” can make the viewer burst out laughing. Equally as comical was when the mother of a family stranded at the diner named Sandra (Kate Walsh) inexplicably blames her daughter Audrey (Willa Holland) for being caught amidst an apocalypse. Lines like this can make the viewer justifiably question whether the script had been proofread at all, or simply cranked out as a rough draft.
This movie would have been great if it had stuck with the original idea of what viewers were expecting to see: some awesome gun battles between survivors, angels and possessed humans seeking to destroy Charlie’s unborn child. Instead, what the viewer gets is a 75 percent mix of one-on-one corny dialog and 25 percent hurried action scenes (with no gun reloading) that end abruptly. God’s army is sent to destroy humankind, but their most formidable weapons are possessed human “vessels” that move sluggishly slow and whose weaknesses appear to be fire, bullets, and knives – everything that can kill us mortals too. Aren’t angels immortal in the Bible, and therefore not susceptible to bullets?
While seemingly intended to be a popcorn action thriller, the film was bungled, maimed, and misdirected into a dull bore that audiences will have to suffer through until they are begging for the credits.
“Legion” drags; it’s plagued by too much talking and not enough action sequences. The fact that this movie has grossed any money at all is a testament to the fact that a decent trailer can draw audiences into anything. “Legion” tries to draw on elements from classics like “The Terminator,” and other works such as “Resident Evil” and “Dogma,” but fails in so many ways. Avoid at all costs.
Brendan Murphy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.