Friday, August 6, 2010

Horror Movie Review: Legion


Starring: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S. Dutton, and Dennis Quaid

Directed by: Scott Charles Stewart

Written by: Peter Schink and Scott Charles Stewart

Production Company Bold Films

Release Date: January 21, 2010

Ah, the apocalypse. Such a great concept for story telling. The end of humanity not because of global warming, or war, or some giant asteroid crashing into us. Nope, God's ready to pick up his Etch-a-Sketch and shake us out of existence.

And thus we have Legion. Charlie and Jeep work at a diner in the middle of the desert. Jeep pines away for Charlie and tries to care for her, but she just isn't having it. She's pregnant, but she doesn't need a man telling her what to do, like not smoke when you're pregnant. But the humdrum diner life takes a turn for the weird when an old lady tells Charlie her babies going to burn, that all the babies are going to burn, and then tries to kill her, crawling up the walls and across the ceiling in the attempt.

After a plague of locusts, or some such flying insect, Michael arrives. Michael is an angel who has come to Earth and cut off his wings in order to fight for humanity. Michael explains that God has lost faith in mankind and that Charlie's unborn child is humanity's savior. God wants the little brat dead so that can't happen and he's sending angels and possessed humans to do it.

We've got a lot of things going on here which makes for an interesting watch. The possessed humans are similar to zombies. It's like a fantasy tale with an evil sorcerer trying to wipe out mankind, but the sorcerer is God. And it's got the ingredients for a post-apocalypse survival tale, except, well, it takes place during the would that be trans-apocalyptoc tale?

The horror works pretty good here with the God-zombie humans being pretty cool and creepy. The ice cream truck guy is particularly unnerving with the juxtaposition of the happy sound of his truck and appearance of his uniform with the decidedly intimidating physical appearance.

A problem, though, it it seems to borrow too much from The Terminator. Michael, similar to both the Terminator and Kyle Reese, comes to Earth naked and must get clothes and weapons for his mission. Charlie, like Sarah Connor, is the mother of the savior of mankind and the ending, with Charlie driving in a vehicle filled with weaponry and Charlie voice-over is derivative of the ending to Terminator.

There could have been more action, I suppose, and there were pretty lengthy stretches of talking heads, but I think the reaction of those at the diner to God's plans was interesting. And I think God was pretty accurately portrayed. I saw that some saw the film as blasphemous and anti-Christian because of the portrayal of God, but come on. In the Bible God wavers from flooding the world and turning people into pillars of salt, wiping out whole cities because he was frustrated with out behavior, and then being all nice and benevolent, so this film looks at, what if He decided to turn all Old Testament on us. Also, it's a clear indictment of mankind's generally pissy attitude and activity.

The one question I'm left with is...what's so special about Charlie's baby? When dealing with the end of days and a baby, it's either the devil's child or Jesus reborn. Neither makes much sense in this film, unless Jesus is also rebelling against God and decided to have his second coming. That's the only theory I've got.

Oh, and there's one thing that happens with Michael at the end which makes me wonder why Charlie will have to continue protecting the baby...but I can't explain about that without spoiling it...

Sure, there are problems, but I found it to be a pretty fun movie and Dennis Quaid and Charles S. Dutton both rock.

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Charles S. Dutton also appeared in Alien 3. Ripley continues to be stalked by a savage alien, after her escape pod crashes on a prison planet.


Dennis Quaid also stars in Pandorum. A pair of crew members aboard a spaceship wake up with no knowledge of their mission or their identities.

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