Good morning, my fellow Pagans! Yes, I know I missed a week, but the pup insisted that foxes shouldn’t be forgotten at Easter. After all fox pups enjoy chocolate bunnies and Easter eggs as much as the next kid. Scrubbing the melted sticky peeps out of the carpet and fox fur though was not my idea of a good time. *glares at pup*
Any who…where was I? Oh, yeah the pup and I have a new movie review for you folks.
CAST: Kevin Durand, Lucas Black, Jeanette Miller, Kate Walsh, Tyrese Gibson, Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Charles S. Dutton, Jon Tenney, Adrianne Palicki, Willa Holland
I’ve only reviewed movies from my DVD collection so far, but this time I’m doing a recently released movie Legion from writer Peter Schink (Gotham Café-2005) and Scott Stewart (producer – Big Love). There are numerous reasons I chose to review Legion. One of the main reasons though is (as a friend of mine likes to say) that I seem to obsess over angel crap. Well, it’s not an obsession and I’ve told her numerous times, but she’s not interested in religion so it’s all crap to her. 🙂
Since my teenage years, I’ve had an interest in myth and religion, two subjects inextricably entwined in the history of mankind’s existence. It’s not just Christianity (after all, I am Pagan) but rather all religions that have existed or still exist and their similarities in belief and the written word. Christianity just happens to be one of the most visible and verbal. With the newest belief the apocalypse will hit in 2012 (courtesy of a misunderstanding of the Mayan calendar), Hollywood has grabbed onto the Apocalypse and rode it bareback rodeo-style into the arena of the theater as well as television—nothing new there. What I do find new is the throwback to the original source material—yes folks, Revelations.
Schink and Stewart take a page from Revelations and smack us in the face with a version of the original biblical end of the world. Anyone who has read the bible knows that the angels are the ones that start the Apocalypse under God’s orders. Hollywood and society spent decades convincing us that angels are beautiful beings of light with huge fluffy white wings and halos when in reality angels were far from that in the Bible. Angels were in fact, warriors, soldiers of God, and the original bad asses of the universe. The sight of them put the fear of God into man—no pun intended.
Legion opens with a montage of desert scenes voiced over by Charlie (Adrianne Palicki from Friday Night Lights, Supernatural). She talks of her childhood and her mother’s faith in God. When her father leaves her mother’s views on God change and she asks her mother why God is angry with his children. Her mother’s reply; I don’t know. I guess he just got tired of all the bullshit. I personally love this line because to be honest if I were God I’d be pissed. Mankind has been using their religion as an excuse to murder millions in the name of God for centuries.
We are then delivered to a dark alley, somewhere in Los Angeles, two days before Christmas to witness the appearance of the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany, The Da Vinci Code). It’s apparent he’s on the run from something, his wings sliced off leaving two massive wounds in his shoulder blades and he’s kicking ass and taking names. Breaking into a warehouse of illegal weapons, he cleans himself up, and packs some bags for a massive showdown. When he blows the doors of the warehouse, he attracts the attentions of two cops who soon become the first to fall in the war that’s coming. One killing the other while possessed by what appears to be a demon that tells Michael these are not your orders. Michael informs said demon that I’m following my own orders now before killing it. He then takes off with the police car, the lights of the city going dark in his wake.
Skipping forward we’re introduced to our two leads who have no idea what’s headed their way in the middle of the Texas desert; Jeep (Lucas Black, American Gothic), the son of the diner/garage owner, and Charlie (Adrianne Palacki), a pregnant waitress who he adores, although she doesn’t love him the way he loves her. Our cast is rounded out by Jeep’s father, Bob (Dennis Quaid, Pandorum); a hook-handed cook Percy (Charles S. Dutton, Fame); a family trapped until their vehicle is repaired (Jon Tenney, Willa Holland, & Kate Walsh); and a father on his way to see his kid, Kyle (Tyrese Gibson, Transformers). This motley assortment of characters, possess unique flaws that makes for some interesting interactions. They’re wrapped up in their own problems so deep they don’t see the writing on the wall, so to speak, until it’s too late.
Around them are signs that something isn’t right; no television signal and loss of phone service. Enter an elderly woman that turns out to be far more than just human. She delivers a message to Charlie, Your baby is going to burn, and then turns on the occupants with a demonic vengeance. At this point, the good folks of this isolated way station begin to wonder exactly what they’ve stepped in. Trust me folks it isn’t dog shit.
Terrified, they hole up in the diner, and soon Michael appears, arsenal in tow, and informs them that he isn’t there to protect them, but rather Charlie and her unborn child. You see, Charlie, who never wanted the baby in the first place, is carrying humanity’s only hope of surviving the apocalypse.
Legion isn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, but I admire the writers for going the route they do. They spin all our heads with the idea that God, his angels, and heaven aren’t exactly what we believe they are. The special effects are impressive: especially during a violent showdown between Michael and Gabriel (Kevin Durand, Lost & Dark Angel) who still has his wings. Legion taps into a number of genres to tell its story including the classic western showdown (can we say Alamo?), fantasy, and horror. It even takes a chapter from James Cameron’s original Terminator.
Although not shocking, the ending does have a twist that amused me and holds a lesson for anyone who has followed orders blindly. In a society bombarded by the media, telling us how to dress, speak, look, and what to read and believe on a daily basis it is a lesson we should take to heart. Welcome folks to free will and thinking for yourself. Not to mention taking responsibility for our own lives and the decisions you make–whether good or bad.
Final Rating: 3/5 Fox Pups
5 Fox Pups – Must See/Can’t Miss
4 Fox Pups – Excellent
3 Fox Pups – Good
2 Fox Pups – Passable
1 Fox Pups – Skip It