When one reduces God’s benevolence to ambivalence and angels to poltergeists, one gets Legion. The movie is a see-saw ride: only the audience gets to be the one at the bottom while it regales itself on top as if to say its message is all-important. The day when God says He’s “tired of all the bullshit” is the same day when a biblical apocalyptic movie fails.
It begins with the musing of our female protagonist, Charlie (Adrianne Palicki). She’s pregnant and stuck at a godforsaken desert with no one else but a couple of deadbeat father (Dennis Quaid) and son (Lucas Black), and a black one-handed cook (Charles S. Dutton). Five minutes into the movie and we see these dark and colorful characters seemingly embellished with depth but are only mere caricatures and clichés used to give the movie a reason for pointless and ludicrous monologues. There is the affluent family-of-three (Jon Tenney and Kate Walsh) with (of course!) a rebellious teenage daughter, Audrey (Willa Holland), whose unruly past we imagine during the brief slatternly smirk towards Kyle (Tyrese Gibson). Then there are the angels. Of the millions of heavenly phalanxes we are taught to believe exist, only two are given screen time: the merciful Michael and the righteous Gabriel, whose wings, I might add, are the only redeeming quality of the movie. I could go on with how his fighting techniques—wings, mace and all—almost gave the movie a brief high point but I will not. Alas! Let us concentrate on the bits and pieces of the movie’s scattered plot all over the floor of the diner.
By this time we know that Charlie’s baby is going to save mankind, but of the reason, we know nothing. All we know is that the angels are possessing (Michael used the term “vessels”) weak-willed humans to kill it. May I remind that they are angels not demons? One has to wonder then if God was really able to create such malevolent and loathsome creatures. Nevertheless, even the all-knowing Michael forgot to give the audience a reason for the baby or for the prophecy they spoke of. Oh, yes. The entire plot is driven by a prophecy at least I have been waiting to be explained until the credits rolled, and all was lost in dazed confusion and plot holes big enough to fit Horton’s pachydermal butt.
Legion is a movie of failed parallels. It tried miserably to make Joseph a faithful and cowardly mechanic; Mary into a wench; Gabriel into an armor-clad killing-machine; and God into a frivolous child-killing Herod. It is a biblical story fit for the modern time, except it’s not. The bible is reduced to a silly reinvention devoid of soul and potency. Worse still is its attempt to compare its murderous Divine Intervention to the Great Flood. In the end, I mused over Hell and its mischievous residents: Their lack of representation must have been insulting but I am sure Satan is laughing, as I was while watching this farce.