(2010)2Cammila CollarIt's always fun to see angels fight with machine guns, right? That's why Legion is a good movie. Not a great movie, but it delivers on what you want. Namely, angels fighting with machine guns. Of course, we also get lots of entertainingly over-the-top possessions (of children, old ladies, ice cream men, etc.), guys exploding while hanging from inverted crosses, that kind of thing. But there's something awesome in the basic premise that supernatural beings made to work in the service of God himself are best battled not with spiritual might or geysers of holy water, but with automatic weapons.
We open on the film's mysterious hero, Michael (Paul Bettany), landing in a shadowy city street Terminator-style, before getting down to business removing the industrial-looking metal collar soldered around his neck, and cutting off his expansive pair of lush wings. Michael is an angel and, thus, is sexy and British. But he has work to do, so as soon as he's finished sewing up the holes left in his shoulder blades, he battles a possessed cop for his cruiser and hightails it out to the Mojave Desert, where an incidental collective of regular folks are about to have their whole day ruined by the impending apocalypse.
It would seem that God has returned to the OT, fire-and-brimstone pissiness that once prompted the Great Flood, and He has a mind to exterminate humanity for sucking so bad at peace and harmony. But Michael still has faith in people, which is why he's broken rank to protect a hard-luck 20-year-old waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), who's uncomfortably close to giving birth to Earth's prophesied savior. Michael shows up at the middle-of-nowhere diner/gas station where Charlie works for the grizzled owner, Bob (Dennis Quaid), while Bob's son, Jeep (Lucas Black), splits his time between ineptly fixing cars and remaining impossibly devoted to Charlie -- even though it's not his baby. Throw in a congenial fry cook with one hand (Charles S. Dutton), a bitchy rich couple with a rebellious teenage daughter (Jon Tenney, Kate Walsh, and Willa Holland), and a tough guy with an Escalade and an impressive handgun (Tyrese Gibson), and you've got the ragtag team that's about to defend this outpost against the armies of random civilians who have been commandeered by divine forces to kill that troublesome fetus.
What you end up with is a lot like the 1995 Christopher Walken movie The Prophecy, except lighter on substance and way heavier on action. The filmmakers never fail to utilize any craziness offered in the premise for the purposes of action, thus we do receive confirmation that angel wings are bulletproof. While the movie certainly never lingers long enough on the self-aware campiness factor to resemble anything smart or postmodern, there's also never a moment of doubt that the film is having fun with itself. And God willing, audiences looking for 1.5 hours of quasi-blasphemous fun will, too.