The Lord is really mad at humanity. So mad, in fact, that he orders angels and even demons to lay waste to the plague that is human beings. Michael (Paul Bettany) defies orders and leaves the “force” in an effort to protect humanity from the impending onslaught. Trading his wings for semi-automatic weapons Michael races to a remote diner where a waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) holds the key to humanity’s survival in her womb.

I missed the theatrical release back in January 2010 though the trailers were intriguing. I picked up the DVD version in May 2010 and got a chance to view Legion in the comfort of my own home. Basically, I liked the concept of Legion where God is ready to purge the Earth of naughty humans again and unleashes his army to exterminate the vermin. A small group of strangers band together in a middle-of-nowhere diner desperately trying to survive the attack. And then ex-angel, Michael, joins “Team People” and gives us a decent chance at coming out of this thing alive.

Lewis Jacobs
Humanity's Last Stand: Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson, Paul Bettany & Charles S. Dutton

Good concept but what starts off as a chilling apocalyptic thriller gradually transforms into a lackluster action flick peppered with religious elements. The supporting cast is really fascinating ranging from an uppity suburbanite (Kate Walsh) to a funny old fry cook (Charles S. Dutton). Randy Quaid is a hoot as the cantankerous diner owner. Sadly, it becomes clear early on that there really is no point in trying to bond with these people because as Michael says, no one else matters but Charlie and her unborn child. So, yeah, most of the group is there for cannon fodder but it would’ve been nice if that fact wasn’t made so obvious so early on in the movie.

I actually dug the religious overtones in Legion. I grew up in the Baptist church and did some time with a non-denominational movement so Bible stories are an integral part of my upbringing. Stories about the Armageddon stuff actually happening is attractive to me. I mean, what if The Bible was right? What if God decided to cleanse the world again like he did during that flood? What if the Rapture really did take place? What if it turned out George W.
Bush really was the Messiah? As bizarre as it sounds there are some really cool horror stories that can be produced from religion.

Except for that Left Behind series. It just never caught on with me. I’m happy it gave Kirk Cameron something to do, though. I enjoyed him ever so much on Growing Pains so I was encouraged he didn’t end up on the “Island of Discarded Child Actors”.

In the case of Legion it was about Michael taking on the unpopular role of the “lone voice of reason” that tries to persuade his fellow angels (such as “Gabriel” played by Kevin Durand) that God ain’t thinking straight. Michael practically sacrifices his own godhood so he can protect Charlie. Eventually, the diner people get opportunities to sacrifice themselves for the well being of Charlie’s baby. Legion is just one big lesson about putting others’ needs before one’s self…..plus demons and angels and flies, oh my.

I also loved the concept that angels speak with British accents. So, all this time we were wasting our times speaking in bizarre tongue languages. We should’ve just watched more Benny Hill in order to learn the dialect of the heavens.

Lewis Jacobs
Remember when angels carried harps? Oh, well. - Michael (Paul Bettany)

Special features include looks at the physical effects / stunts (Creating The Apocalypse), visual effects (From Pixels To Pictures) and cast/crew interviews (Humanity’s Last Line Of Defense). Personally, I didn’t check them out. I really didn’t have much interest in how this movie was made. I was so relieved that I made it through the experience without falling asleep.

I pity the poor soul that spent money on this at the multiplex but for the rest that waited until the DVD and Blu-Ray I would recommend renting it out if nothing better is available. Otherwise, you can wait for Legion to debut on premium cable channels. Heck, I would dare say you could hold off on Legion until it hops over to Syfy Channel or Chiller. Again, it’s a nice concept but everything is done so hastily that the ending doesn’t feel as fulfilling as it should.

Rhymes With: The Reaping (2007), Gabriel (2007), The Seventh Sign (1988), The Mist (2007), The Unborn (2009), Stigmata (1999), The Prophecy (1995)