In my 2010s most anticipated, I stated that Legion has badass written all over it. Based on the trailer, it looked, to put it simply, ridiculously awesome. Well I saw it the past weekend and: ridiculous? Yes. Awesome? Eh…
The story is ultimately a combination of elements from The Terminator and Night of the Living Dead. God loses faith in humanity and sends an army of angels to possess humans and eradicate the human race… or something. However, one angel (Paul Bettany) goes rouge and helps a group stranded in an abandoned diner, one person in said group is bearing the child who will grow to become the savior of the human race (aka John Connor).
The main problem with this film is that it suffers from ever so relevant problem of revealing too much in trailers and commercials. You know how awesome the Ice Cream Man looked? (SPOILER ALERT) Well, he’s there for like less than a minute and then dies. He doesn’t even die in an awesome way. And I was convinced that he was at least going to pop out of nowhere but no. It really is a shame that they used all the money shots for the epic trailer and didn’t really give more to offer in the actual film.
Another problem (and probably the biggest problem) is the pacing. There is way to much dialog throughout the film, especially in the beginning and I was waiting impatiently for the action to set sail. I mean let’s face it, no one is seeing this movie for the character development or the dramatic narrative. It wouldn’t hurt to have either of those things but none of the characters are really that dimensional: there’s the religious one, the non-religious one, the one who wants to prove himself to his father, the teenage girl, the overprotective bipolar mother etc. Cliched character archetypes aren’t exactly a horrible thing in a movie like this but if you’re spending most of the time with the characters instead of the action, it would be nice to flesh out their personalities a little more.
But it’s not all bad here. Let’s be honest, no one expected this to be something to take seriously. And if you have that in mind while watching, you’ll probably have a blast. It’s well directed, particularly during some of the fight scenes, and at times it can be so ridiculous that you can’t help but be entertained. There’s plot holes, there’s cheesy acting (especially when Dennis Quade enters the fray) but some of the action is pretty damn entertaining and depending on your tolerance of the flaws, you might really dig this movie regardless of its issues. Frankly, if there weren’t so many problems with it, I’d say this has potential of being a fantastic franchise. But until now, be cautious. It’s not an abysmal action flick that feels unfinished like Babylon AD or even Xmen Origins: Wolverine but at the same time it’s disappointing that there’s some greatness in here that’s overshadowed by a ton of mediocrity. If you were interested in seeing it, you can check it out; you’ll probably get a kick or laugh out of it, heck you might even enjoy the film. Just remember, a great trailer doesn’t always mean a great movie.