End of the world flicks are usually entertaining, and Legion brings enough satisfaction to rate a 7. If the last 15 minutes hadn’t drifted into cheesy territory, it probably would have earned an 8.
“Mommy, what changed to make God angry at the world?” “I don’t know, Honey. Maybe he is just tired of all the bullshit.” God has decided to end the human race (a second flood) by sending his angels to kill everyone. The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) rebels choosing to protect an unborn child that is the key to humanity’s survival. As clearly shown in the trailer, Michael and a band of strangers hole up in a diner out in the desert (looking much like the parts of NM I will be visiting in 2 weeks – maybe my vacation will be more interesting than planned…) to face God’s legions of angels.
The plot is standard apocalypse and follows it faithfully. Save the baby; save the world. Why is never explained, but that is never necessary in the apocalypse plot line. The story is satisfying, an enjoyable end of the world struggle. The last 15 minutes drift into the “come on, this is not very realistic” zone assuming that you have been able to willingly suspend disbelief regarding angel-possessed zombie like humans seeking to kill an unborn child. That is the magic of movies, but let’s keep it believable!
Dennis Quaid has really developed into an excellent, grizzled-veteran-of-life actor. That is a great role for him as the hardened and mature, yet stand-offish older guy that just wants to be left alone. He has wisdom to share with the younger characters and tries to set things right and protect the innocent. But his age usually fails him in the physical struggle, and he sacrifices himself to save the others. He fits the role perfectly in Legion and also in Pandorum (Lieutanant Payton), which rated a good 7.
I am pleased to see Jon Tenney get some roles beyond The Closer (Agent Fritz Howard) and his more recent role in Brothers & Sisters (Dr. Simon Craig). His part in Legion is relatively minor and a bit flat. But he is a likeable actor in his typically quiet characterizations. The rest of the cast did a decent job in their stock roles: older man of faith, younger semi-ruffian with the opportunity for redemption, young pregnant waitress on her own, bitchy/slutty teen with bitchy/critical mother and quiet/passive father (Jon Tenney). We almost forgot the mysterious, strong, keeper of secrets rescuing hero (Paul Bettany as Michael.)
This movie was fun. It has been out for just over a week, but it won’t be out much longer as there were only two other people in the theater this fine, sunny (31 degrees) Sunday afternoon.