One of the main reasons why I decided to check out this movie, apart from the special effects, was the plot. Legion is an action horror movie following a group of strangers trying to survive the attacks of demons in their local gas station. And immediately you start thinking not just zombies but also all sorts of other creatures. Splinter is a good example although one of my all-time favorites Feast is probably the best. So, how come a movie with this sort of a premise ended up in movies so bad they’re good section?
Well, first of all, the pacing is all wrong. Legion features just a few action scenes while the rest of it is full of unintentionally funny dialogue led by one-dimensional characters. Characters who are so stereotypical that they might’ve even broken through to the other side. I’ll just say that our main guy is called Jeep and I’ll leave it at that. So, we’ve got demonic forces, a guy called Jeep, and now an angel who comes down from heaven Terminator-style and starts arming himself.
I guess they were going for that rural charm and if they catch some of the urban folk, well, that’s a bonus. I think that the main idea behind Legion was to create a religiously-themed “cool” guilty pleasure action movie. There are a lot of moving parts there and you have to be extremely careful to make them all work together in unison. The thing that irritated me the most was the lack of internal logic. I guess you can shoot angels and demons with regular guns now. Also, angels apparently love tattoos and our homeboy has some pretty cool neck tiles. Just look at him in this poster. It’s hard to keep a serious face with a poster like this.
And I’m not even going to talk about glaring plot holes appearing every ten minutes. There were so many missed opportunities that you will be constantly yelling at the screen telling people what they should do. What, a gas station is under attack, well at least try to board it up somehow! The special effects range from laughable to stunning. One of the more hilarious ones is when the demons possess a cop not five minutes into the movie. This “possession” looks like it belongs in some cartoon and not an R-rated action horror movie.
Sure, there will be a couple of well-executed scenes and jokes that will land but that’s not nearly enough to move the needle. I urge you not to watch the trailer. Mostly because if you do, you’ll already be familiar with all the coolest scenes. This will diminish the returns on all those melodramatic and plain old boring scenes that precede them. The cast is full of familiar faces who did the best they could with a script of this quality.
The finale was quite underwhelming in terms of scale but it delivered when it comes to laughs. We will be watching overgrown chickens fight and I think this is enough to finish Legion in one go. This is a movie that takes itself too seriously. And that’s essential to any so bad that it’s good movie. Finally, it borrows from all the classics we watched and enjoyed over the last two decades. It’s a lot of fun figuring out from what movie they stole that line or a whole scene. So, Godspeed dear viewer and don’t forget to get fucked up before watching.
Director: Scott Stewart
Writers: Peter Schink, Scott Stewart
Cast: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S. Dutton, Kevin Durand
Fun Stuff: The movie was a financial success despite all the negative reviews and reactions. The budget for Legion was just $26 million while it made almost $70 million. And that’s not even counting all the subsequent DVD and Blu-Ray sales.