We Are Legion

Last night I, after the Saturday Word War, I took my wife out to see Legion. If you have not seen the trailers or heard of the movie, it is about this age’s version of The Flood. In this instance the human race is faced with extermination from within. The world’s only hope is the birth of a baby. How can we be sure that the baby will be born safely? Well, hopefully because the Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) switched sides, made himself mortal and is fighting to save the mother.

The trailer featured scenes of shadowed angels flying through the air, Michael breaking his bonds in the form of a collar around his neck, crazy wall-crawling octogenarian with a foul mouth and tendency of biting, Michael fighting an angel who still has his wings (Gabriel, who else?), and finally the ice cream man. All of those led to what I was thinking would be an angel fighting action movie. For the most part, it did deliver that. At some points it failed. Which points, you ask?

Well, while I will not spoil much in the way of specifics, the point at which this movie lost me was in the “great reveal.” So, should you have any wish to go see this movie for yourself and get the full effect, you might want to skip past this part and look towards the bottom for my summary. If you want some forewarning of the pitfalls of the movie, read down past the Spoiler Protector Wall™.

Wall drops in 10…

drops in 9…

drops in 8…

I am serious, look away… 7…

I am taking off the kid gloves… 6…

5…

4…

There it is… 3…

2…

Last chance… 1…

So, for my brothers and sisters who made it over The Wall, here is where the movie Legion lost me. Through the introduction of the legions of attackers that the movie seemed to have been named for, I was a bit lost at the fact that the film was taking on a lot of aspects of Night of the Living Dead. I was noticing the solid parts that were taken directly from a zombie movie. Normally this would endear me a bit towards it, not to mention the idea that God’s Wrath would come in the form of zombies sort of amused me. But what is up with the Ice Cream Man? He arms and legs stretch way the hell out, his mouth gapes open in an inhuman howl and he lopes towards them. Why is he the only one that looks like a mashup of Gollum and Imhotep? Also his entire scene was not much more than what you see in the trailer. Was he put there simply to convince us of how inhuman they now were? Like Grandma Moses biting through the guy’s jugular and then crawling up the wall was not indicator enough?

But even then they still had me. I could accept them not trusting the audience to figure out the inhuman nature of the formerly human attackers. (You get that in the opening scene, so that is not much of a spoiler.) Add into that the slow introduction and back story of a bunch of characters – who you don’t need to know much about. There is one very touching scene of one of the guys telling another a touching story of his father. It served no purpose whatsoever in the grand scheme of things. Why slow down the movie with a lot of story and plot hooks just to leave them dangling when those characters die? (I did mention this is like a zombie movie, right?)

Towards the end I was working through it. I was going along for the ride. At the big reveal, the movie became the Terminator. Basically the entire concept (which at heart was the one from The Seventh Seal) became something Michael lied to us about and became a cheap, magical version of the Terminator. Why not just change Charlie’s name to Sarah and be done with it?

The final parting shot for me was when they had already lost me. Maybe it was the Urban Fantasy Geek in me rearing its ugly head, but I think it was a valid point. Michael left Heaven and came to Earth to protect humanity because he had not lost faith in them. Gabriel came down to complete the command for Him that Michael would not. Why have angels possess weak-willed humans to attack the strong-willed if you can send real winged angels to fight? I mean they have metal wings ala Warren Worthington’s version of Death from the X-Men. Also, where the possessed humans could not come close to the child, the angels could. The child who was never supposed to be born and who would eventually lead humanity out of the darkness. Our Noah and John Conner all wrapped up in one with the only temper tantrums being when he needed to be fed or have his diaper changed.

Let’s give all the rest a chance to notice the summary coming before I continue…

In 5…

4…

Summary coming folks… 3…

2…

You can read again… 1…

In summary, I would give the film 2 dancing zombies out of 5. I would go to it as a matinée, but I would not pay full price. If there was anything else playing (Book of Eli, Lovely Bones, hell… Daybreakers is still in theaters) I would go to that first. I would totally rent it when I wanted to see some action and wanted to throw caution to the wind. I am not sorry I went to it, just a little disappointed in the final product.

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2 thoughts on “We Are Legion

  1. Le sigh. Legion had potential but the world building was so far-fetched and silly it totally lost me. The best parts were Paul Bettany and the guy who played Michael. I went to the matinee and I still wanted my money back.

    Great review by the way.

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