— by MARIUSZ ZUBROWSKI —
Until recently, when I thought of the Bible, several images popped into my head. Some of them being angels, Jesus, and an all-mighty entity in the heavens, but after seeing the latest batch of religion-themed films, it isn’t hard for me to also think about sword-master prophets or gun-totting angels when exploring the topic. But ironically, “Legion” — which is directed by Scott Stewart — comes short of heavenly and instead rises only slightly above mediocrity.
In “Legion,” God is furious with humanity and ushers in its extermination. However, a young woman named Charlie, who works at a run-down diner in the middle of nowhere, holds the key to stop the impending apocalypse. In the spirit of the “Terminator” films, Charlie’s unborn child is “the only chance humanity has of surviving.” Fortunately, Charlie is not alone and is aided by a team of co-workers and strangers which includes a world-weary drunk, a gangster, and of course, a fallen angel named Michael who has made it his personal mission to save the human race.
An interesting premise doesn’t save “Legion” from its inefficient writing and pacing. Characters are thrown in without any back-story and are given quirks just to mask their lack of depth. It also doesn’t help that the writing is unintentionally hilarious. The plot is also never really explained and it becomes thoroughly confusing and tedious as the third act commences.
“Legion” also suffers from acting that ranges from almost passable to sleepwalking. Charlie, the protagonist, lacks any depth for there to be a connection with her and the supporting characters, Bob Hanson and Percy Walker (played by Dennis Quaid and Charles S. Dutton) are equally wooden. The best of the worst is Paul Bettany as Michael who plays an adequate action-hero.
Speaking of action-heroes, the only positive aspect of “Legion” is its shoot-outs. However, these are few and shattered about and sadly do not make a viewing worthwhile. The hilariously-terrible special-effects also help to deviate attention away from these random bits of entertainment.
As a comedy, “Legion” works, but since it’s trying to be a serious bit of action-drama, it fails on a Biblical level. Nothing rises above average and though it is an interesting idea to put God as the antagonist, it doesn’t work as the execution misses and this makes Scott Stewart’s first feature film worth skipping.
— Click here for a pair of scenes from ‘Legion’ —
Follow Mariusz Zubrowski on Twitter at http://twitter.com/ijm_Mariusz.