Legion (12)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner03/03/2010

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 104 mins

Entertainingly trashy thriller, elevated by strong performances and some gleefully over-the-top moments, but it's not quite as much fun as it should have been.

What's it all about?
Directed by Scott Stewart, Legion stars Paul Bettany as the angel Michael, who has fallen to Earth, cut off his wings and armed himself to the teeth in preparation for a coming apocalypse. He soon makes his way to a remote desert diner (named Paradise Falls – you see what they did there?), where he meets a rag-tag group of diners including proprietor Bob (Dennis Quaid), Bob's son Jeep (Lucas Black), one-armed cook Percy (Charles S. Dutton), pregnant waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), tough guy customer Kyle (Tyrese Gibson) and family-of-three Howard (John Tenney), Sandra (Kate Walsh) and Audrey (Willa Holland). He proceeds to tell them that mankind's only hope is to save Charlie's unborn child from an imminent horde of slavering zombies and angry angel Gabriel (Kevin Durand).

The Good
Bettany is superb as Michael and the fact that he takes the role so seriously is an effective counterpoint to the campy nonsense going on around him. There's also colourful support from Quaid, Dutton, Gibson and Holland, while Palicki has an appealingly feisty presence as Charlie.

The action kicks off nicely, with two enjoyably creepy set-pieces involving a foul-mouthed granny and a spidery ice cream man. However, after that, there's a bit of a dull stretch before Gabriel shows up, though the film does rally for an exciting final scrap.

The Bad
The main problem is that Stewart substitutes guns, explosions and a love of weaponry that borders on the fetishistic for anything even remotely resembling tension or suspense. The script also fails to convince you of the stakes involved, though there's the merest hint of a suggestion that the unborn child might be Michael's, which would make a lot more sense, plot-wise.

The film also suffers from an uneven tone, as if it can't decide whether to go all out for schlocky comedy-horror (rabid granny, ice cream man) or take a more serious doom and gloom approach.

Worth seeing?
In short, Legion is well acted and delivers enough trashy thrills to earn it a pass, but it could have been a lot better.

Film Trailer

Legion (12)
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Content updated: 22/10/2017 14:36

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