I Watched: Legion (Video)

Legion (2010) – Dir. Scott Stewart – 100 min – USA

Everything about this movie and review frustrated me. First off, the movie sucked. Then my webcam kept having problems. When I finally fixed it, the deadline to submit had passed. But I figured I should post my review somewhere so it didn’t feel like a complete waste of time. Oh yeah, and did I mention the movie sucked?

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Hi, my name is Lyle Prijoles and this week I am reviewing ‘Legion’. I usually like to give a serious overview of what the story is, but I was so confused by the whole thing, here’s all I got: God’s pissed at the world & wants a do-over with humanity. Instead of sending a flood, God went on an all night zombie movie binge and thought that’d be a cooler, more fun way of destroying humanity. Then he sends the bad boy angel, with a heart of gold, Michael, played by Paul Bettany, to perform a hit on a soon-to-be-born fetus who for some reason, can save humanity, thus putting a wrench in God’s zombie destruction of humanity plan. But Michael defies his orders and decides to defend humanity against God’s legions of possessed human beings, with angels using them like avatars.

Let’s start with the good news, because there was some. I thought the premiss of the story was interesting and had potential. God wanting to do restart with humanity, that could be cool right? I have a soft spot for alternative takes on religion. The two main actors, Bettany and Adrianne Palicki, who plays Charlie, the unsure, soon-to-be-mother, gave decent performances considering what they had to work with. We’ve seen Bettany turn in some good performances before, he does his best considering he’s pretty much forced to carry the film on his back, if you couldn’t tell by the promotional blitiz of the film. So that’s pretty much all the good I came out with it.

The bad news? The story did not make one lick of sense. Ok, God’s mad and want to end the world. Fine. But why? What happened? What did we do? Was it because of The Spy Next Door? Was it the whole Conan-Leno-NBC mess? Is it because of Jersey Shore? Did God just wake up on the wrong side of the bed one day? The film leaves it ambiguous, which I feel is a missed opportunity to develop one of the film’s most important characters: God. And just as a person, if someone or in this case, God, wants to kill me and my entire species, I’d like to know the reason why.

Another thing that bothered me: why the hell is this kid so important? They never explain, or hint to any reasoning, other than this kid is going to save humanity! How?! Why?! Normal questions I think people would ask especially in a situation like this. I guess they’re trying to hint that the child is kinda like Jesus, but then why does God want the child killed? Is this just one big test God is putting people through and we’re supposed to learn some kind of lesson at the end? The one thing you do learn about this kid: its indestructible. Newborns are extremely fragile. But after being thrown around, almost dropped numerous times, and a high speed car crash that sent the car tumbling multiple times, the kid came out of it all perfectly fine. At this point, having the kid become Jesus would be the only logical thing about the film.

This film also can’t choose what kind of movie it wants to be. A cheesy, campy movie with massive amounts of killing and unlimited ammo, or a serious film about religion, and human’s relationship with God, angels, and each other. I for one appreciate campy movies, like Zombieland & Drag Me To Hell. But none of them had long, drawn out monologues that took all the fun out of the campy humor that they wanted you to enjoy. That made the stupid, supposedly humorous lines more annoying. I don’t remember hitting my head with my palm so many times while watching a movie.  There’s a balance they want, but massively fail at. Trying to cover up your horribly weak script with random placed cheesy lines doesn’t save it.

Also, while the main characters are trying to kill the possessed people outside, they’re the ones actually acting like zombies. There’s very little motivation for their actions. A random guy drives up to their place with a stolen cop car and an entire arsenal of weapons, tells them he knows why everything is messing up, they do whatever he tells them to do and don’t ask him a single question until after they shoot at a bunch of stuff? Maybe I’m overly inquisitive and have trust issues, but I’m going ask a couple questions to the dude I don’t know. They say the humans who got possessed are the ‘weak’. But what makes the main characters ‘strong’? If God really wanted the kid dead, why couldn’t He get the main characters possessed? Or maybe He should have made them watch this movie.

The ending was even confusing and does nothing to answer questions. Only leaving you with more, increasingly frustrating questions. Like with GI Joe, it was begging for a sequel. And like GI Joe, the initial story was so bad, why the hell would I subject myself to another hour and a half of this story?

I can go on and on, but overall, this movie was just too frustrating. My mind was blown…in a bad way. As in, I was so confused by what I had just seen, I was really hoping to find out that the movie we just saw was actually a prank version created by the editor that was accidently sent out as the final cut. Okay, let’s say they intentionally left a lot of the movie ambiguous in order to build up for a sequel. They couldn’t create anything that’s recognizable to a coherent and understandable story the first time around, why would you expect your questions to be answered the 2nd time? Basically this film is The Terminator if you take out most of the things that made the Terminator cool, like robots, time travel, and Arnold, but then you add in religion and zombies. It had the same, bland desert setting as The Book of Eli and now I’m totally convinced that this economic depression has created an entire era of films set in mundane, cost-effective environments. Ultimately, this movie suffers from the over saturation of films predicting the end of the world. It doesn’t have enough special effects or unique story to distinguish itself from the rest. You’ll remember this movie like a tetanus shot or that one time you got a speeding ticket right after you rear-ended a car.

Oh and the two black characters die in the beginning. And that never happens in movies.

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