Legion (2010)

Paul Bettany (Michael), Dennis Quaid (Bob), Charles S. Dutton (Percy), Adrianne Palicki (Charlie)

Directed by Scott Stewart

IMDB: An out-of-the-way diner becomes the unlikely battleground for the survival of the human race. When God loses faith in humankind, he sends his legion of angels to bring on the Apocalypse. Humanity's only hope lies in a group of strangers trapped in a desert diner with the Archangel Michael.

Oh, dear. Such wasted potential! Just look at the lovely, tattooed, shaven-headed Paul Bettany, who's come a long way from the first performance of his to catch my eye: William Chaucer in A Knight's Tale.

(Here, check out this montage of his introductions. "In Greece he spent a year in silence, just to better understand the sound of a whisper." Brilliant stuff, with Alan Tudyk long before he was Wash, and Heath Ledger long before any mention of him induced sadness in my heart. This clip alone is much more entertaining than Legion!)

He was much, much paler in that role, wasn't he? But in Legion he was set to be the best sort of badass--the guy who defies GOD by cutting off his own wings, standing up to his fellow angels, and toting a pair of machine guns. I think that was in the Bible.

Anyway, yada yada, end of the world. You'd think the end of the world would be, I dunno, scarier? The red band trailer was much more effective, condensing an entire film's worth of icky into five minutes. The actual movie is stuffed with bizarre character studies that go nowhere. I need an arc, people! The young man who cannot fire a weapon when crazy lady crawls on the ceiling? Oh, yeah, he fires a gun at random halfway through--with no mention of how he overcame his boyish hesitancy. Angry Black Man who wants to see his son again? Yeah, randomly dead with no morals or lessons learned. Anywhere. Just stick a few vaguely biblical references--a dude with boils, a plague of bugs--in with some distinctly non-biblical stuff, such as the spiderish man who emerges from an ice cream truck, and call it profound.

Then again, maybe that was in the Bible too.

And when was the last time you noticed lousy editing? Isn't that the realm of student filmmakers still learning their craft? In the climactic fight scene between Michael and Gabriel, I had a seriously difficult time understanding the flow of action. It was all a jumble. So frustrating. Worse than that, the whole ordeal just dragged. Move along, apocalypse! This is supposed to be edge-of-your-seat stuff.

Side note: When did Dennis Quaid get so old? Remy! What happened to you?

Can we go back to Paul Bettany being hot? He was. Truly. Any scene not featuring him, preferably with his tattooed arms bared, was a wasted opportunity. Unfortunately the poor boy is set to continue in this vein. The director has cast Bettany to star in his next picture, Priest, which is about vampires. Of course it is. Maybe the folks involved will have learned how to tell a story by then. If not, it's just more wasted eye candy.


Verona St. James said...

"Move along, apocalypse!"


Good review. I'll avoid this. Although Bettany is very pretty.

Did you see Wimbledon? I wish he could get more romcom leads like that.

Carrie Lofty said...

I swear I did, but it must've made little impression on me :(

Donna Alward said...

I did! And I have it! And he was awesome. "Shut up, you silly ponce!"

Do you think he got cast in this sort of role after being in the DaVinci Code?

I haven't seen Legion - and now maybe I won't, either.

Carrie Lofty said...

I was never a Da Vinci gal so I haven't seen it, but he would be my only reason for doing so!

Verona St. James said...

Well, and more action type movies get made than RomComs, so it's probably a safer career move for him to beef up and go after movie roles like this and the priest thing.

I love him as Peter Peter in Wimbledon. I can even stand Kirsten Dunst in that movie.

jmc said...

I watched Legion on a transatlantic flight. I'm not sure what disturbed me more: Legion, or the Michael Buble cover of Heartache Tonight that was heard on the in-flight entertainment system. Paul Bettany's hardness/prettiness was the only thing that kept me watching.

Carrie Lofty said...

Heartache Tonight? Really? *shudder*

That's far scarier than LEGION turned out to be. I think I'll go rewatch KNIGHT'S TALE again :)