Posted by: John Gholson
Directed by Scott Stewart, 2010
Written by Peter Schink, Scott Stewart
Joining the ranks of Night of the Living Dead, Assault on Precinct 13, Demon Knight, From Dusk Till Dawn, Feast, Maximum Overdrive, and a host of other “siege” horror films, comes Legion, an unrepentantly dopey fantasy-action-horror hybrid built upon the idea that God hates us all. Personally, I don’t believe that God hates us all, but He’s got to be a little peeved at director Scott Stewart for casting Him as the villain in such a stupid genre exercise.
The nicest thing I can say about Legion is that it’s conventional. All of the elements and characters you’d expect from a siege movie are here — a remote location (deserts work best), a stranger with a past, a single mom, a bickering married couple, a wise black guy, a local bohunk who can’t live up to his full potential as long as he stays in this dead-end town, and a dude that shows up out of nowhere and starts barking orders because he’s the only one that knows exactly what’s going on. You even get the “don’t open that door or we’re all dead” scene several times, which, in all honesty, kind of loses its impact after the first time when they don’t end up “all dead”.
What sets Legion apart is its faithful devotion to spiritual hooey. The gist is that God is fed up with “all the bullshit” (as explained to us in Adrienne Palicki’s voiceover at the start of the film and repeated verbatim at the end, for those of us who can’t remember things that happened ninety minutes ago). He sends the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) down to a greasy-spoon diner to kill the unborn baby of Palicki’s character, Charlie, for no specific reason (Some lip service is paid to Charlie’s baby being the thing that will save mankind, whatever that means. This movie doesn’t like dealing in specifics). Michael changes his mind, decides to save the baby, and basically screws things up for the whole world — causing an unstoppable horde of angel-possessed human monsters and rival archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand, most famous for playing lunkheads) to try and finish the job.