By Katie Knowlton
I know you’ve seen the commercials for Legion and have probably thought “Wow, that looks stupid and/or entertaining as hell. Also, I can never look at my grandmother again without thinking she’ll attack me, then climb all over the ceiling like a deranged woodland creature.” But you’re wrong. Legion is a deep, spiritual movie that contemplates the fragility of mankind as merely the creation of a superior being.
Nah, I’m just fucking with you. Legion is both stupid and entertaining as hell, only tacking on a vague spiritual message that appears to be more intelligent than it actually is. That message: don’t abort your babies because they may be the messiah that will save us from the wrath of one very angry god, who, instead of striking us down with lightning or something as equally obvious, sends angels down to posses people so they act like zombies.
I wish I were kidding.
Legion centers around twenty-something Charlie (whose last name is never given, so it’s like she’s Mary!), played by Adrianna Palicki. Charlie is eight months pregnant and it is unknown to the audience who the father is. Charlie works in a diner in the Middle of Nowhere, California with a motley crew of characters, including a young man by the name of Jeep, played by Lucas Black. No–really–his name is Jeep. The character’s name in the credits is Jeep. It is made pretty damn obvious he is the Joseph in this story, as he pines, lovelorn, for Charlie. Jeep’s dad is Dennis Quaid, and it is only worth mentioning this so you can all go and chastise him later for taking this role.
So Charlie, Jeep and a rag-tag bunch of tokens and minor characters (who you wish death upon, the entire time they are on screen) are all in a diner, chillin’, when this well dressed man in an LA cop car shows up with a whole ton of guns. He, of course, is the archangel Michael, who has come to earth to save the precious baby Jesus II from the hordes of angel-possessed people. I would try to explain why God is so pissed at humanity, but it’s never explained very clearly, and Michael’s reason for coming to earth isn’t much better. It pretty much boils down to: “Eh, I like people all right, I suppose. They shouldn’t really die, I guess. That seems a little harsh.”
Really, this very flimsy premise is just an excuse to get to the killin’ and the granny slayin’. And there’s a lot of killing. Like, hundreds of angel-possessed people, a lot, including a very spider-like ice cream man. Unfortunately, the special effects guys wasted all their money on the grandma and the epic fight scene at the end, so all the other possessed look like regular folk with pointy teeth and scary eyes. Most of the movie consists of this, mowing down hordes of people to keep the baby safe. Sometimes the possessed come moderately close, but there was never so much danger that an automatic weapon couldn’t handle it and all the characters magically know how to use them with deadly accuracy, including the guy who has a hook for a hand (he is a token character, and it’s not worth the time to really elaborate on him).
Finally, at the epic climax, Michael’s brother Gabriel comes down and they have quite the knock down, drag-out brawl over the Jesus baby. The angels are allowed to show off their kung fu and weapons skills, and the audience is treated to a moderately well shot, long-ass fight sequence. Did you know angels have special maces that vaguely resemble the spike attachments from that car in Grease? You know, the blue one with the flames, from the race at the end? Man, Grease is a good movie. But, yeah–there’s some fighting and stuff, and eventually good wins over bad, meaning the baby lives and humanity is saved! Or something…because the kid has to grow up to be able to lead the people. I smell a sequel!
To be honest, I actually enjoyed this movie. Don’t get me wrong, it is god awful and should be looked at as more of a comedy than the action/horror film it is being advertised as. If you don’t go in with high–or really any–expectations, there is definitely entertainment to be found in Legion. The writing is weak and the acting is atrocious (Kate Walsh, you should be fucking ashamed of yourself), but it’s pretty to look at and there is high comedic value. Bring a friend and crack jokes the entire time. Or wait for it to come out on DVD and rent it because while it may not be worth $10.50, it’s definitely watchable and has the potential to become a cult favorite.
Also, I’m even more afraid of old people than I was before. Thanks, movie.