Belfast Telegraph

Legion: reader review

By Mike Bradford

Paul Bettany stars as the Archangel Michael. When God decides to exterminate civilisation, Michael (who still has faith in mankind) goes against his wishes and falls to earth in order to defend the soon-to-be-born Messiah.

Meanwhile, a handful of people are stranded in an isolated diner in the New Mexico desert. One of them, Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), is heavily pregnant with the next Messiah and once Michael arrives, he makes it clear that she is the one the angels will target. It remains to be seen whether his stand against God’s orders is a lost cause and if he can defend both mother and child from the thousands of possessed people who are converging on the diner. Their intention: to exterminate mankind’s last hope.

The film opens with a quote from the Bible; Psalm 34:11, which reads, “Come, my children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD”. Unfortunately for us, the Bible never taught us to fear the release of ‘Legion’. On paper, the storyline sounded like utter nonsense, yet the prospect of angel-on-angel warfare (and the addition of advanced weaponry) definitely sounded like it could be fun. It is not.

To give this film any chance at all, you have to suspend belief. That goes for religion too. Do not take anything about the story seriously; even Paul Bettany said that. It cannot be seen as an attack on Christianity or even a comment on it. The story was simply invented in order to offer another setting for zombies to appear in. So without a believable or well-constructed plot, all that is left to make this movie worth seeing is its value as entertainment. Certainly a killer-Granny, a possessed ice-cream man and Archangel Gabriel’s high-tech mace promised that there would be enough bloodshed and action to keep viewers amused.

However, contrary to what the trailer hinted at, the action is very scarce. It is also badly performed. Defenders Kyle (Tyrese Gibson), Jeep (Lucas Black) and Michael unleash a torrential barrage of bullets on the first swarm of zombies in very cavalier fashion. It is only on preparing for the second assault that the question is asked – “How many bullets you got left?”. It is almost as if the film got caught between taking itself too seriously and just being a nonsensical shoot ‘em up. The acting is also dreadful; no-one stands out with each actor/actress giving a very wooden performance. Bettany quite clearly belongs in roles such as Chaucer (A Knight’s Tale) whilst Dennis Quaid can’t seem to escape from being in bad movies. The gaps between each action sequence are long and unnecessarily drawn out. Instead of building up the atmosphere and tension for the next attack, they simply bore the audience.

All together, ‘Legion’ is pretty much an insult to the art of cinematography. It was not in the least bit entertaining, it failed to deliver on any epic battle between angels, the dialogue was boring and the zombies weren’t even scary. Just to clarify, the first time God lost faith in man, he sent a flood. The second time, he has sent angels. After the release of this movie I dread to think what he is going to do. I’m praying that there won’t be a sequel. Do not go see this film.



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