21) Legion (2010) Dir: Scott Stewart Date Released: January 2010 Date Seen: January 22, 2010 Rating: 3.5/5
There's a brash glee that sustains the apocalyptically stupid Legion, a film best described as The Terminator by way of Assault on Precinct 13 except with ornery angels instead of misanthropic robots. Basically: God's winged monkeys, I mean messengers descend to Earth with the intent of murdering humanity's last hope, now still in the womb, but Michael (Paul Bettany), a rogue angel with a very good tailor, won't let them!
There is absolutely no coherent rhyme or reason to Legion beyond a very shallow point but it doesn't need logic--it's ideologically streamlined that way. Director Scott Stewart careens through demented action scene after action scene with an abandon and wanton zeal that deserves much praise considering how patently turgid the film's nonsensical obsession with finding the goodness (ie: faith) in humanity is. Yeah, yeah, the film's about the redemption of humankind in the face of certain divine punishment/extinction, right, right. But hey, did the good guys just open fire on a group of brainwashed Hot Topic punx and then cut off the thumbs of a sweet little boy? Suh-weet!
Legion's biggest asset is its raucously puerile sense of humor. An old lady scampers up a wall after screeching "Your baby's gonna burn!" and then a demonic ice cream man attacks a diner full of heavily armed Mid-Westerners. Bettany's clearly having a great time here, delivering his hyperbolically somber dialogue with Shakespearian gravitas as he mows down angels with semi-automatics and rocket launchers (the role is a breath of fresh air for the actor after his literally self-flagellating role in The Da Vinci Code). Even Dennis Quaid, who plays the boss of the mother-to-be (Adrianne Palicki) of the next John Connor, manages to make his constipated, cock-eyed bulldog schtick work here where in ways it hasn't in years. If morbidly curious readers can do as Quaid, Mr. Ex-Lax himself, did and just go with the flow, a fun time is sure to be had.