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Thursday, January 28, 2010


Once again a movie that should never have been made has escaped the studio vault to assault our senses with its ludicrous silliness. I’m talking about Legion, of course. Actually, if you’ve seen The Prophecy, Prophecy II, Prophecy III, or The Prophecy: Uprising (aka Prophecy IV), you’ve already seen Legion, just with a different cast.

Just as in The Prophecy series, the Arch-angel Gabriel (Kevin Durand; X-Men Origins: Wolverine) has his celestial panties in a knot, and he wants to destroy humankind. This is because God Himself has become disenchanted with mankind and has ordered a hit on all of us. Apparently in the realm of the Almighty, He has some form of ADHD and has grown tired of human beings, so His natural inclination is to wipe out everything on the planet. This time though, instead of a flood, He wants to mix things up, so He decides to slaughter us all by sending down a flock of cranky angels to do the deed. And I’ve always thought angels were supposed to be sweet, chubby cherubs; these bastards are more like Gary Coleman on crack after he’s just been called “Webster” for the eighteenth time in one day.

Fortunately for us, that other pin-up Arch-Angel, Michael (Paul Bettany; Inkheart), has a soft spot for the human race, so he shows up in the middle of the vast New Mexico desert at a decrepit diner/gas station called “Paradise Falls” (Get it? Get it? Hey, this is as witty as it gets in Legion) to defend the world against the oncoming horde of winged warriors. As always happens in movies of this ilk, the diner may be two hundred miles from anything except tumbleweeds in all directions, but it’s a cinch the place is going to be packed with an assortment of colorful characters. Paradise Falls is no exception. The place is run by Bob Hansen (Dennis Quaid; Pandorum), grumpy as hell because he is looking more like Randy Quaid every year.  His adult son, named Jeep (Lucas Black; Jarhead), is still hanging around the single-wide in the back, along with a pregnant waitress called Charlie (Adrianne Palicki; tv’s “Friday Night Lights”), whose greatest aspiration appears to be squeezing out an urchin in the squalor they call the “Ladies” room in this dustbowl. There’s also the stereotypical bickering married couple, Howard (Jon Tenney; tv’s “The Closer”) and Sandra Anderson (Kate Walsh of tv’s “Private Practice” under several pounds of whorish make-up), stranded when their Beamer breaks down; the source of their discord is their slutty-looking teenage daughter Audrey (Willa Holland; “The O.C.”), who has as cheery an attitude as Lindsey Lohan when she realized she left her stash of cocaine in the pocket of her jeans after they’ve gone through the wash. This trio seems more like they are doing a summer stock production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” rather than acting in a horror movie. Apparently this is what “artistes” do during their hiatus from whatever hit television series they are on.

The cast is rounded out with Charles S. Dutton as Percy, hiding out as Paradise Fall’s one-armed cook to avoid the shame he should feel for being a part of that ghastly remake of Fame last fall, and finally there is mystery man Kyle Williams (Tyrese Gibson; Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen), who is supposed to keep us on edge guessing if he is a good guy or bad since he packs heat and doesn’t answer direct questions. Oh, and there is the fact that he is African American, which plays on the white audience’s inherent fears of black men and satisfies the black audience’s long-held understanding that a brother is only put in these movies to get whacked. Don’t blame me for telling it like it is. That’s the cliché, and it is what it is.

So this potpourri of neurotics spend a couple of hours milling around the diner shooting “zombified” people that are possessed by the spirits of the avenging angels, which makes little sense since angels should (I presume) be able to resist decimation by bullets, but these guys keel over and die along with their host bodies as easily as a Kardashian will spread her legs like butter against a hot knife.

Director and co-writer (along with Peter Schink; Gotham Cafe) Scott Stewart (What We Talk About When We Talk About Love) stumbles around the idea that Charlie’s baby is the new Messiah, especially since there is no mention of who the baby’s daddy is or under what circumstances she got knocked-up, but he never really goes all the way in making the New Testament connection.  He also never explains why it is that Michael feels compelled to lop off his wings when he first arrives on Earth in order to fit in with the humans around him yet the rest of the army of angels have no problem hiding theirs within the hosts they inhabit. Odd.

The whole of Legion does have its moments of intensity and suspense, but ultimately it is just dumb. The best part of the entire movie is a brief appearance by octogenarian actress Jeanette Miller (Four Christmases) as kick-ass Gladys Foster, a foul-mouthed visitor to the diner who ups the shock factor by uttering the “F word” and the “C word” while still presenting herself as the sweetest grandmother this side of Betty White. Other than that, Legion doesn’t cover any new ground. If it really wanted to amuse us, they would have had God strike us down by killing off the audiences who go see stinky horror movies. In other words, He’d kill us with Legionnaire disease.       

1 comment:

Dildos said...

Yeah this movie is very interesting one! Actually, I watched this movie 6 times, I really like it!