Let me get the good out of the way first since it’ll take up less room. The first good point is the soundtrack which had an epic, chorus-type vibe to it. It really brought the action scenes to life and made them feel more important than they should have been. The other good point would be Paul Bettany as Michael, the rebellious Archangel who defies God’s word and tries to defend mankind. His work as the bad-ass defender of man comes off well when he’s given the chance. Unfortunately, the movie falls apart around him under a horribly put together premise that misses every attempt at coherence.
The comparison between Legion and The Terminator are evident from the get-go, insomuch as that Michael even appears (falls from the sky, but still) in some random back alley, before taking on some possessed cops and stealing their car to carry out his mission. What is his mission? To rescue “the savior of mankind” who happens to be an unborn child being carried by a waitress (Adrianne Palicki) who lives and works at a diner out in a dust bucket to nowhere. When he lands, Michael fills up two bags with guns that he’s got stashed away in a giant armory that I guess any angel who believes he may one day rebel against God and have to fight off the next apocalypse should have.
We’re then taken to said diner, where we’re introduced to the waitress, Charlie, who is talking with her friend, Jeep Hanson (Lucas Black). Jeep is a guy who has a crush on Charlie, though to him it’s much deeper than that. He has dreams where it’s his duty to protect her, and the child, even though she thinks he’s crazy to want to be involved with her and a baby that isn’t even his. Problem with Jeep is, he talks like he’s slow in the head, and he sounds like George W. Bush (though I guess those two things go hand in hand). Why is this a problem? Well, he’s suppose to be the non-angel hero of the story, and when his moments come to act like a tough guy…well, just imagine Bush playing Rambo, and you’ll get the idea of how horrible this idea comes off.
Then we get to know the other players at the diner. There’s the owner, Jeep’s dad Bob (Dennis Quaid); head chef Percy (Charles S. Dutton); and a family whose matriarch is played by none other than Private Practice star Kate Walsh. And then there’s the lone stranger played by Tyrese Gibson – probably hitchhiking to find his next paycheck in between the Transformers movies. After his arrival, all hell starts to break loose; not because of him, but because of a crazy old woman looking to kill Charlie.
In walks Michael and after some uneasiness and a quick game of “now who’s got the gun,” it’s time for the fallen angel and the dinner crowd to band together and battle a demon-possessed ice-cream truck driver; but he’s the least of their problems. We get the problem of trying to understand why Charlie’s baby is the savior of mankind. Is her baby Persus reincarnated and he’s going to take on God personally? And if God is truly upset with humanity, do you really think the boy will survive the apocalypse let alone make it through puberty?
Even with a robust, epic-like score, the setting is rather bland. If this is truly angels systematically taking out humanity, how about side plots involving other humans? It’s questions like this and wondering why angels possess the bodies of weaker-minded humans (apparently, the Warren Buffetts of the world had a backup plan) that will irk many viewers. With an endless supply of small-minded humans, which probably numbers into the billions, we have odds are worse than The Alamo. But because the angels only possess weak humans, they take their time attacking the diner instead of a blitzkrieg formation. Again, another just-bang-your-head-on-the-table-and-you’ll-feel-better issue.
I feel the story would have been immensely better with a focused attack by an elite group of Angel Assassins sent by God to take out Michael and the baby. At least this way you have your good guys facing odds that are still heavily stacked against them, yet believable to the degree of beating them. Thousands of angels standing outside of the diner instead of destroying it just never sits well if that’s all that’s standing between God’s plan and him losing. Sure we still wouldn’t know why the baby mattered so much, but at least then we’d have some great angel vs. rebellious Archangel fights, instead of the mediocrity we do end up having to sit through.
Director: Scott Stewart Notable Cast: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Tyrese Gibson Writer(s): Scott Stewart & Peter Schink
Brendan Campbell was here when Inside Pulse Movies began, and he’ll be here when it finishes - in 2012, when a cataclysmic event wipes out the servers, as well as everyone else on the planet other than John Cusack and those close to him. Brendan’s the #1 supporter of Keanu Reeves, a huge fan of popcorn flicks and a firm believer that sheer entertainment can take a film a long way. He currently resides in Canada, where, for reasons stated above, he’s attempting to get closer to John Cusack.