In Legion, God is fed up with humanity. Much like how he flooded the Earth in the days of Noah, he is once again looking to cleanse the planet of filth, and we are that filth. Our only hope is the stoic fallen archangel Michael, who, out of love and compassion, refuses to take part in the purge and decides instead to help a group of survivors prevent the apocalypse.
Michael is played by Paul Bettany, who shares a definite bond with his character. While Michael has the near-impossible task of fending off an irate God, Bettany has the even more difficult responsibility of breathing life into a character who is not only paper thin, but actually encouraged to show no emotion. Does Bettany succeed? No, but only because you can't create something from nothing.
The cast of Legion have my deepest sympathies. Everyone desires the movie star life at one time or another, but this is not one of those times. I don't envy a single person involved. To their credit, like Bettany, most of them try their damnedest. Dennis Quaid phones it in as Bob Hanson, the perpetually-grumpy owner of the diner. One can assume that Quaid channeled his real-life rage over starring in the movie into his performance. The diner's one-handed cook, Percy, is played by the fantastic Charles S. Dutton, who seems to have a lot of fun with the role despite everything. Good for him, and good for us, because he's the movie's sole highlight.
Legion sports a cast of good actors taking big paychecks to play awful characters. I'm not attacking the integrity of anyone in the movie. Acting is a job like any other and people need to get paid. This will, however, be a dark spot in everyone's careers.
The core plot is simple: God is upset with humanity and wants to hit the reset button, much like he did when he flooded the Earth so many years ago. Only this time we have an ex-archangel on our side in Michael, who has grown attached to the humans and believes God is making a huge mistake.
It's not a bad premise for a movie, to be honest. However, additional plot elements get thrown into the mix for little reason and add nothing but confusion. I won't go into detail because I don't want to spoil anything. You probably shouldn't watch this movie, but in the event that you do, I sure as hell don't want to make it any worse by ruining any surprises, stupid as they may be. There are certain elements that I couldn't spoil even if I wanted to, simply because I never understood exactly what was going on.
Movies about the apocalypse, specifically of the Judeo-Christian variety, have always been fairly popular, and it's very hard to see Legion as anything but a sad attempt to cash in on a trending fad. The characters are less than one note, the story is trite and confusing, and the dialogue is excessive and laughable.
I can enjoy a silly action movie as much as the next guy, but Legion takes advantage of my lax standards. I gave them an inch and they took a mile, giving me in return one of the poorest examples of cinema I've ever witnessed. If there is a God, Legion will cause him to lose faith in humanity.
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