Thursday, August 5, 2010
Director: Scott Charles Stewart
Writers: Peter Schink and Scott Charles Stewart
Starring Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Willa Holland, Kate Walsh, Kevin Durand, Charles S. Dutton, Dennis Quaid and Jon Tenney
Christian themed horror films are a hard thing to pull off very well, the best examples of good ones are The Exorcist, The Prophecy and The Omen. There is a long list of failed ones though like the remake of the Wicker Man. I am sad to say that Legion falls into the latter category. This film stole so many ideas from better films but did not bother to add anything to make these ideas their own. It borrowed from The Prophecy, Night of the Living Dead and The Terminator and it does it haphazardly. The film has a strong opening act but ultimately falls apart the deepr it tries to explain the story. The only thing that saves this from being a miserable viewing experience is the acting chops of Bettany, Dutton and Quaid. They are at least a pleasure to watch. I think the worst offense this film makes is by over simplifying everything and thinking that all the viewers are idiots. Most viewers have intelligence and it never pays off to insult that intelligence and this film is just a slap in your face to your brain and that is why it fails.
The plot basics are this, a diner in the middle of the desert becomes the final battleground between humanity and God. It seems God has decided to purge the earth of humanity once again like he did with the flood because he does not like what he sees. The archangel Michael (Bettany) disobeys God’s command and decides to help the ragtag group of human survivors left at this diner because he believes that one pregnant girl (Palicki) is carrying the answer to humanity’s problems. All of these people must band together to fight the Angels that are coming to wipe them out, but they will have to deal with their own insecurities if they have any chance for survival.
This is just a badly done film. Stewart does fine with the horror and action sequences; it is with the character scenes he fails miserably. There is no depth of feeling to the characters so you really do not care what happens to anyone. The script is just as bad, it just steals from other films blatantly. The worst example is the ending which is a tell tale copy of the ending of The Terminator, it is just sloppy filmmaking. The cast is not much better Palicki is a horrible actress and you never feel for her plight. The only saving grace is the acting of Bettany he acts like he is in a Shakespearean production and it does elevate the material somewhat. Quaid and Dutton are great in their small parts too, but it is not enough to save the film. The SFX and make up effects in the film are quite good. The best sequence was the one in the first act with the crab crawling old lady that was quite creepy. It was just a shame that they couldn’t keep up the façade of a good film after that. The score did not help much either, it was just forgettable. So, if you want to see a good end of the world Christianity horror film see The Prophecy instead.
This one gets 2 out of 5