Legion belongs in a category of films that start off with a bang before going off the rails completely in the final act. The Apocalypse and angels seem to be popular in movies and television of late, and Legion is a worthy effort but only if the last 30 minutes can be taken out. The DVD is highly weak on bonus material but it’s a solid rental if you like a good popcorn film.
When God becomes tired of man he sends an archangel to destroy them only to have the angel Michael (Paul Bettany) disobey and try to save humanity. This rescue mission focus on a small-town waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) who is about to give birth to a baby. Stuck in a diner with a group of strangers Michael must keep Charlie’s baby safe and try to stop another angel from destroy mankind.
Legion is a film best seen on DVD because after the story is set-up, the execution goes a bit bonkers. Starting off with a group of strangers trapped in a diner and having the requisite signs of Doomsday rain down on them the movie takes a turn with the introduction of the archangel Michael. At this point the movie becomes a typical last man standing type movie where angels and demons can apparently be killed with shotguns. The movie takes another turn when the diner patrons all start to turn on each other and debate about giving Charlie’s baby to the demons. With all these stories and different genres competing it’s hard to figure out what goal this movie is aiming for. It doesn’t help that the cast is a hodge-podge of acting styles. Paul Bettany is as stiff as a board as Michael, scowling and looking tough the whole time. Adrianne Palicki is pretty but she doesn’t do much and Lucas Black plays every Southern boy character he’s ever played. The special effects are great and the demons are scary, ranging from a little old lady to a small boy. Had the movie known what it wanted to be, demons vs. humans or angels vs. God then maybe it would have had a chance.
The DVD seems to have been dumped with three bonus featurettes and nothing else. “Creating the Apocalypse - Behind the Physical Effects” is what it sounds, detailing all the physical effects and designs that went into the film. “Humanity’s Last Line of Defense - The Cast and Characters” is nothing but interviews with the cast detailing their motivations and glorifying how great the movie is. “From Pixels to Picture - A Look at the Visual Effects” is merely all the SFX that went into the movie. The Blu-Ray doesn’t offer much else aside from BD Live and Picture-in-Picture. Suffice it to say if you enjoy the technical aspects of this movie you’ll enjoy the bonus features, but there’s really nothing to make this anything more than a Saturday night rental.
The first 30 minutes of Legion is great, with some fantastic special effects and a great “trapped in a diner with a bunch of strangers” premise that could have had potential. Once Michael and the angels start dueling its all downhill from there. The DVD offers nothing you can’t find on YouTube.