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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
172 of 194 people found the following review helpful
A Fallen Angel Fights for Our SalvationJan. 27 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
God has lost faith in humanity, something that hasn't happened since the days of Noah. But instead of a flood, He has sent down a legion of angels, who possess the bodies of weak-minded people, turning them into ... certainly not demons, but then again, there's nothing angelic about these people, so maybe there's no other way to describe them. Anyway, it seems the only one who has kept the faith is the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany), who directly disobeys God by protecting what he was sent to destroy: A pregnant young waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), whose child was prophesized to be humanity's salvation. Upon finding her in a middle-of-nowhere New Mexico diner - named, appropriately, Paradise Falls - Michael leads a stranded group of strangers in an apocalyptic battle against the angels, who descend in droves.
What I find fascinating is that, for a film that comes across as nothing more than a violent, gory supernatural thriller, "Legion" tells a thoroughly absorbing story, one that, oddly enough, sends a message more hopeful and satisfying than the one sent by the duplicitous "The Book of Eli." I suspect few will latch onto this, since more time is spent on bloody shootouts and cornball dialogue; a basic shot consists of Bettany toting heavy artillery while someone over his shoulder swears loudly. Another basic shot shows a possessed person transforming hideously, and yes, this includes the overhyped scene of the old woman in the diner. And yet, in spite of all this, the subtexts are there, and there are moments of compelling character development.
Consider the relationship between Charlie and her boyfriend, a simple but decent mechanic named Jeep (Lucas Black); he wants to provide for her despite not being the father of her child, which she finds difficult to understand since she doesn't believe herself to be all that good of a person. She has no plans for the future. She contemplated an abortion, and even in her eighth month of pregnancy, she smokes. "Why do you have so much faith in me?" she asks Jeep, as if to suggest that it's wrong to care for someone who doesn't have it together. "Am I another one of your lost causes?" Jeep then leaves, refusing to indulge a woman who spends every moment feeling sorry for herself.
Another important relationship is examined. Jeep and his father, Bob (Dennis Quaid), haven't been getting along too well lately, although we quickly learn that Bob is really not a bad guy - he just doesn't want his son making the same mistakes he made, mistakes that left him without a wife in a poor desert town working a dead-end job. Although he has difficulty showing it, he sees the good in Jeep and wants him to put it to better use than fixing cars in a rusty garage.
From Michael's point of view, Jeep is a sign that, in spite of wars, injustice, bigotry, greed, and waste, humanity is indeed worth saving. But it won't be an easy fight; even if Charlie's child manages to be born, it will still be vulnerable to the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand), leader of the angel army on Earth. Unlike Michael, he believes that if God gives an order, it should never, ever be questioned. Needless to say, he and Michael are now enemies, although one gets the sense that, deep down, Gabriel wants to side with Michael.
I'm probably in the minority here, but I think that there are deeper aspects to "Legion." I also think that they redeem the disappointing screenplay, parts of which seem to have been written by a potty-mouthed sixteen-year-old. Some of the worst dialogue is given to Quaid, who at times portrays his character as nothing more than a country/western stereotype. And then there's Charles S. Dutton as a God-fearing veteran with a hook for a hand, who at one point recalls his father's words of wisdom about dying before waking up. It wasn't profound by any means, but the fact that he tried to make it seem like it was caught my attention.
"Legion" is not a great movie, and will never be seen as one. But I do think it's better than some have suggested. It tells a Christ-inspired fable that consistently kept me interested, and in spite of some bad dialogue, ridiculous action sequences, and overly gory special effects, it had surprisingly good depth of character. Its greatest accomplishment was its ability to tell a hopeful story without having to cheat at the last second, which is more than I can say for Denzel Washington's latest movie. Keep in mind, however, that this is coming from the guy who loved the critical flop "Knowing" and hated the much praised "Babel," so maybe my priorities aren't yet straight when it comes to spiritual parables.
29 of 33 people found the following review helpful
What He NeededDec 30 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I was never a fan of horror movies, but my husband has convinced me to watch a few, and I've really come to like certain ones. I now add LEGION to that special list. LEGION is a different kind of horror flick. Not much horror, not much gore, plenty of action, and a surprising amount of goodness and light. The general plot is that God has lost hope in mankind and has sent a plague of angels to wipe it out. But one of his archangels turns against him and comes to Earth to protect humanity. Archangel Michael still truly loves mankind, and will lay down his live to save us all. Despite this description, LEGION is not irreverent and not overly religious. But, I am not going to dwell on this aspect of LEGION, because the movie doesn't dwell on it.
I knew nothing about LEGION before we started, but as I watched it, it sure felt like a Stephen King novel: a group of strangers, stranded at an isolated diner, must fight off hordes of evil. And even though it is NOT based on a King novel, I was just as completely absorbed by LEGION's story.
I took a look at what the critics on Rotten Tomatoes had to say about LEGION, and they hated it. Loathed might be a better word. And I think most of the comments are justified, although some are just snobby. Is this a perfect movie? No. Are there clichés and genre cross-overs? Yes. Did I enjoy watching it? ABSOLUTELY. LEGION is definitely one of those films where the whole is much more than the sum of its parts.
32 of 37 people found the following review helpful
FALLEN ANGELSMay 31 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
LEGION is one of those movies you should probably hate, but I found myself liking it anyway. Paul Bettany plays a heaven-weary archangel Michael who disobeys God's orders to wipeout mankind. When archangel Gabriel steps in to punish him and carry out the order, all heaven breaks loose! The film's setting in a desert cafe is the battleground and a small gathering joins in the battle. Aforementioned plot holes aside, the movie uses its premise effectively with a good cast and visuals. Maybe hokey but fun!
32 of 41 people found the following review helpful
ApocalypticJan. 24 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
I really enjoyed the movie, although it had a fair amount of gore. I thought it had a decent storyline and decent CGI. The acting by Paul Bettany was strong and is what actually held the movie together. He portrayed Archangel Michael. Dennis Quaid was really just a "name" filler. While Dennis had a part through most of the picture, it was only as background.
This was an apocalyptic film. The basic premise is that God is tired of the Earth humans trashing the Earth and each other with wars, killing, etc. God calls his army of angels together, led by Archangels Gabriel and Michael, and tells them to go down to Earth and kill us all. Gabriel orders Michael to kill the unborn baby of a certain girl, because this baby represents hope to mankind. Michael is torn between God's order and Michael's own love for mankind. Although many humans are not behaving as God wants, Michael still sees a few good and loving people who will not give up. So Michael decides he will give God what He NEEDS, not what He says He WANTS. Michael descends to protect the pregnant girl and ensure the baby is born.
The story begins with Michael leaping down to earth on December 23 at about 1 a.m.. Shortly after that, he cuts off his wings, grabs a whole bunch of guns and ammo. Confronted by 2 police officers, he tells them, "It's starting. There isn't much time." After a brief negative encounter, Michael heads off in the police car, which the officers no longer need. (What the heck???)
We switch to a scene in the California desert. There is nothing around for miles except a very simplistic diner, called "Paradise Falls" owned and operated by Dennis Quaid. His son works there too, as a handyman. A young girl also works there and lives in a small trailer on the premises. She is 8 months pregnant by someone who is gone from the picture. The son is a good and simple soul who is crazy about the girl and wants to take care of her and the baby.
Slowly, a small diverse collection of people begin to make their way to the diner. As another reviewer said, it would have been nice if the movie had taken a little time to background the people. No sooner do people get in place than the sky begins to darken. Then sweet little Granny Packer comes in and turns into the terror from Hell. She tells the pregnant girl her baby will burn, sinks her pointed teeth into a customer's neck, and climbs up the wall. You cannot help but cheer as the cook bounces a frying pan off her head!
As a couple of people try to get help for the injured customer, they see thousands of flies everywhere (yuk) and cannot drive. Everyone is stuck at the diner when Michael arrives and tells them that we are "running out of time" (as if Granny Packer wasn't a clue.) He explains that the last time God lost faith in man, he sent a flood. Shortly after that, the group has to begin fighting zombie creatures that were once human, but ain't no more!
This movie is NOT for children, because of the gore and because of the message that God would send his angels to destroy humanity. Although I do not believe that my God is vengeful and I do not see my favorite angels, Gabriel and Michael, ever in this kind of role, I enjoyed the movie as pure FICTION, although I would never have written the story line this way. I guess it is an attempt to tell people to wake up and act right before you lose it all. Regardless of what you believe about God, I think almost everyone will agree that the human race is not acting in a way that ensures its continued existence.
I enjoyed the first time but would I watch it a second time? Probably not. Note: I did buy the DVD for my 37 year old son and he has watched it several times already.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Entertaining, but could have been moreMay 20 2010
- Published on Amazon.com
The commercials made this movie look so good, and it had loads of promise. It started off very well, and though I can't say that the ending was BAD, it was definitely lacking and could have been much more. It's a movie about an angel saving some unborn baby (which has a mom that keeps smoking through her pregnancy, WTF), which was disappointing because I was hoping it would be about the end of the world. Overall it's not a bad flick and has its good points, but in the end, it's not THAT good due to the story unraveling through the film. Eh.