What movie was that...?

26 January 2010

Legion

directed by Scott Stewart

You know the feeling you get when you are walking into a party that you didn’t really want to go to, but some friends are already inside and you haven’t seen them in a while, so you just take a breath and knock on the door? And finally, when the party is over, it’s pretty much as lame as you thought it would be, but it was still pretty cool to see your friends? Apply that same sentiment to the Scott Stewart’s film, Legion, and you will have shared my movie-going experience this afternoon. I didn’t expect much from a film that- well, you saw the trailer… Sharing the same malady as one of my personal favorites, Reign of Fire, Legion suffers from a bad script but benefits from strong actors who believe so much in the project that even the jarringly, sluggishly slow points in this film have an earnest quality that pleads for you to get on board with forced character development. And I have to say, though, a few times it almost worked, mainly in Paul Bettany’s case. Bettany plays Michael, ex-general in God’s army who defects to save a child from being exterminated by the freaky infantry of His wrath. The only thing more frustrating than the strange character development sequences is the fact that the importance of this child isn’t explained, other than some vague “He will lead the people” crap that appears empty and, frankly, lazy. Bettany brings a Christian Bale intensity to the role of Michael, and Dennis Quaid is great as good ol boy, Bob. Lucas Black and Tyrese Gibson punch in as best they can, but when it comes to squeezing out tears whilst maintaining a vehemently stoic demeanor, nobody can hold a candle to the excellent Charles S. Dutton, channeling his preacher Dillon character from the underrated Alien3 for the role of Percy. Kate Walsh and Willa Holland try their best to breathe life into essentially flat roles, and Adrianne Palicki was indecipherably indecipherable as moms to the chosen one. Scott Stewart comes from a special effects background, but oddly, it doesn’t really show. It’s a film without a country, not action enough to be fun, and not well written enough to be a slow mover. Give me a futuristic, apocalyptic dragon slaying crudfest any day of the week.

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