I believe in angels and, therefore, love movies about them. Some films portray them as good like Clarence in “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or Dudley in “The Bishop’s Wife.” Others make them bad like those like those in “Constantine” and “Prophecy.” The angels in the movie I am about to review fall into both categories.
The movie is “Legion.” It stars Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Adrianne Palicki, Dennis Quaid, Kevin Durand and Kate Walsh.
The story centers on a diner in the middle of nowhere. Bob Hanson (Quaid) and his son Jeep (Black) own and operate it.
Their waitress, named Charlie (Palicki), is about eight months pregnant. She is a single mother who doesn’t seem to trust anyone; not even Jeep who is obviously willing to lay down his life for her.
Although he doesn’t understand it, Jeep “feels” that he must protect Charlie and her baby. That’s a fact his father neither likes nor approves of. It is the cause of tension between father and son.
However, that is the least of their worries. Something far more catastrophic is about to happen. It is something that could change the course of the entire history of man forever.
When a little old lady arrives at the diner, she begins berating Charlie for her unmarried pregnancy. While it is offensive no one considers it out of the ordinary. That is, until the 80-plus woman begins attacking the patrons of the diner, biting the neck of one and throwing the owner across the room.
The Apocalypse, it seems, has begun. It’s a fact the diner’s occupants almost missed without a good television or radio signal. But lucky they are filled in on the event when the angel Michael arrives and tells them if Charlie’s baby doesn’t live, the world will end.
It seems that God has lost faith with mankind once again. But rather than sending another flood or even fire, He dispenses his legion of angels from heaven to rid Him of the pestilence of mankind.
All but one angel complies. Michael insists that he cannot because he doesn’t believe that within the deepest recesses of his heart it is truly what God wants. He merely wants a light of hope to spring forth from humanity.
As the battle escalates and it seems there is no way that the baby can survive, Michael prepares to meet the greatest challenge of all. He must fight his brother Gabriel for the every existence of humankind.
When Gabriel questions how he can go against their Father’s wishes, Michael answers, “you would give Him what He wants. I would give Him what He needs.”
Which brother is correct? Is it time for mankind to cease existence? Or is the Holy Father still holding out a ray of hope?
I won’t answer those questions for you. I will; however, say that you might be surprised by the answer.
“Legion” is by no means a great movie. It really isn’t even a good one. What it does accomplish; however, is important. It makes you think about right and wrong; about mankind’s flaws and his saving grace. To me, that makes a movie worth watching.
Bettany, once reserved for comic relief or character roles, proves here that he can carry a leading role. Is he the best leading man ever? No! Is he the worst? Certainly not! He lies in the middle somewhere, but what he proves is that he is continually growing and emerging as a theatrical force.
Quaid’s role is small but pivotal. He pulls it off with great ease.
Walsh is amazing as a diner patron who nearly gets them all killed more than once. She represents much of the worst of mankind.
Black is now a far cry from the little boy who tried to run away from Sheriff Buck in television’s “American Gothic.” He has grown up well – handsome and muscular. Yet he still holds that intensity and innocence mixed together.
Palicki does not make for a very good heroine. In fact half the time I was rooting for the angels to take her down. She isn’t the kind of woman you would want to bet could save the human race.
The screenplay penned by Peter Schink and Scott Steward is imaginative if nothing else. I wouldn’t, unfortunately, call it all that balanced. The characters are almost too dark, making a good case for God’s wrath. The innate goodness and humanity are nearly missing, which leads you to wonder why Michael would take the fall from heaven to save them.
Scott Steward also directs, which may explain the continued lack of balance represented in this movie. It could have used more but simply didn’t get it.
If you appreciate the battle against good and evil, then this movie is for you. If you are looking more for horror with blood, guts and gore, then it is probably not.
These days I’m more about the former. The latter leaves me cold. For that reason, I give “Legion” 2 stars. It isn’t perfect to be certain, but it does have a message.
RATING SCALE USED:
0 = A stinker. Don’t waste the money!
1 = Bad. Rent it at your own risk.
2 = Below average. See only if you have time to kill.
2.5 = Average. A toss up.
3 = Good. Worth a looksee.
3.5 = Very Good. I recommend it.
4 = Excellent. Don’t miss it!
4.5 = Outstanding. What are you waiting for?
5 = Destined to become a classic. You will be sorry if you don’t see it.