Legion (2010)

Minor spoilers follow, but nothing that you wouldn’t get by looking at the cover of the DVD.

Legion tells the story of a band of survivors who make a last stand with a fallen angel when God decides to end humanity with what is essentially the zombie apocalypse. Logic goes out the window early on, but really no more so than in any other story involving the Christian supernatural.

Why does God use such an inefficient method to wipe out humanity?
Why do some zombies shamble, others move quickly and still others have powers?
Why do angels battle with guns and knives?

There are some rules to the zombies which Michael the angel explains, but it’s best not to think about them as they don’t make much sense. I suppose the audience needs some direction on what is attacking them and why, but when it’s all so ridiculous I actually I wonder if the movie would be improved if all the explanation was taken out and the audience was given no idea about who was doing this and why. The film could then at least aim for a kind of weird cult-hit status.

Which brings me to the one point I want to make about Legion, and that is it’s logic is no worse than any of the stories I’ve covered so far in working through the Gospel of Matthew. In Matthew God directs humans around with angels, a star guide wise men and a virgin gives birth. It’s all a bit silly when you realize that God can’t do anything right or expediently; he doesn’t use powers like teleportation or telepathy that would speed things along, some people wander around guided by vague prophecies while others are given explicit instructions… the list goes on. The stories are all so flawed the action has to have been made up by people, and so to with Legion. When the highest powers of the supernatural are available to writers the logic of plot and character quickly gets jettisoned. We just can’t make sense of that kind of power.

Legion is at least a guilty pleasure for fans of Paul Bettany, of which I am one. Although if you want to see him then I highly recommend the under-watched Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World, which was the movie I viewed just before this one. And I did enjoy seeing Willa Holland, who now plays Thea Queen on TV’s Arrow, in a supporting role. But with so much great entertainment now at our fingertips something like Legion is really best left for when you’ve got nothing else to do and only if are interested in it for reasons other than it’s Christian-based story. I enjoyed it, but after doing so I was glad that I saw it for free on Hulu rather than paying for a movie ticket which I had considered doing at it’s time of theatrical release.

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