“The first time God lost faith in humanity he sent a flood.” says an angel named Michael. In “Legion,” the archangel has left heaven to try and help save mankind. Against God’s will, he tries to protect a pregnant woman named Charlie, whose baby determines the fate of the world. Pointy-toothed, enraged super-monsters attack the small diner where Charlie works. Although they look like normal people at first, the beasts are actually a possessed multitude intent on killing Charlie, before her baby can be born.
The trailer makes “Legion” appear as if it’s your run-of-the-mill religious end-of-the-world movie, like director Peter Hyams’s “End of Days” or Carl Schultz’s “The Seventh Sign.” However, audiences will be surprised at how standard it isn’t – mostly – and why it’s not exemplary. Also, the previews don’t give a lot of insight into what takes place in the movie.
Characters in the film are well-written, fully developed and complex. Deciding to sacrifice one of her fellows, a woman named Sandra exclaims, “It’s just one.” Sandra is played by Kate Walsh, the star from ABC’s Private Practice. Her two characters dress alike, but the similarities end there. Sandra is detestable, selfish and vindictive – making her character the most hated and her performance the best.
Despite having a difficult character to play as well, Paul Bettany does a great job portraying Michael. This film is filled with other amazing actors, including Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Adrianne Palicki – who plays the mom-to-be – and Charles S. Dutton.
Costumes are mostly archetypal for the characters, excluding only Michael, who dresses more like a cross between an average guy and a CIA or FBI agent. The costumes for the heavenly creatures, though, vary from conventional mind set. Sporting armor, the soldiers of God wear a collar around their neck to ‘ground’ them to Heaven, like dogs. This makes sense since they call themselves, “. the dogs of Heaven.” Their wings, made of steel feathers, provide protection from man-made ammunition.
Action scenes in this movie, excluding one, are not overused. The one that is comes from an unexpected character. Some of the dialogue is what one wouldn’t expect from an apocalyptic movie, while the rest is just what you would. After Sandra’s betrayal, the famous ‘messenger of God’, Gabriel swoops down to Earth to help during the slaughter.
Near the end of the movie, when fighting against the enemy, people will expect a cliché line when the deadly general asks one of the humans why he fights when all hope is lost. However, the writers surprise with a better, funny reply. Don’t fear for those who love the cheesy, it comes soon after. Legion is an action-filled movie with lots of twists and turns that will keep you pinned to your seat as if an angel were holding you down.
Bri Heath is a City Times writer