For those of you who don't care about Paul Bettany, pooh. For those who do, after being disappointed that he is just the disembodied voice of Jarvis in Iron Man 2, be prepared to be disappointed again in Legion, his turn as a lead actor. There is some nice room for allegory, complexity and good old action in a story about heaven fighting humans. Instead, Legion chooses to be a stupid, confusing film.
There are lot of moments that promise cool - Doug Jones is in this, and he plays a possessed Ice Cream Man - but nothing becomes of them. The Doug Jones character, for example, gets to be really scary really fast, and then is shot down immediately. He isn't a threat, was never one, so why not show us something that is. Turns out it's not that kind of film.
Paul Bettany, our flavour of the week, plays the Archangel Michael who comes to Earth and cuts off his wings and then proceeds to rob lots of weapons. Why? God has lost faith in humanity and has ordered the destruction, and he is here to save one unborn child who is supposed to be the saviour.
The problem is, there wasn't a need for Michael to cut off his wings, and if God can make angels or whoever possess human beings (which forms the crux of the film's plot - there is a horde of possessed human beings coming to get you), why not possess the pregnant woman and make her walk off a cliff?
There are a whole host of characters who are not only uninteresting, but also unsympathetic who we are supposed to care about when the possessed horde come. Problem is, I don't care. I don't care about a loser dad travelling to the city for a custody battle, or a broken family, or a cook with a hook for a hand.
So this is an action thriller where you don't care who dies, the menace is not well choreographed, and the basic logic is suspect. You'd think then that Scott Stewart spent a lot of time and care on his action sequences, at least giving us some cool moments. You couldn't be more wrong.
The action lack any punch and there isn't a moment that hasn't been done better anywhere else. The beats come loose and fast, and nothing carries any weight. When Archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) appears finally as a legitimate threat, the film has gone beyond the point where we care, and climax actually hurts your brain.
To compound things, the film is shot in the most boring fashion imaginable. There are a few throwaway moments that actually sing, showing the potential of this concept and the director, but the rest of the film is a generic looking mess. The concept and the lead deserved better.
Ultimately, we all must come to realize that despite Paul Bettany as the lad, this film is dumb, boring and quite pointless, and it's better probably to hear him as a robot voice in Tony Stark's lab than to see him stoop this low. For those who don't care, pooh.