Blu-ray Review: Legion (2010)

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The two-disc Blu-ray release of Legion may allow you to download a digital copy of the film for your PC, Mac, Portable Device or PlayStation but it doesn't guarantee that you'll be able to interact with the title as if it were a video game, which is ultimately what you'll want to do during this 100 minute shoot 'em up extravaganza.

Donning a religious frock again – this time bad ass angel wings to play a bad ass angel – Paul Bettany is a one man version of The Terminator coming to Earth not because John Connor programmed him to do so in the future but because God has commanded him to do just that. And while he's visiting mankind, instead of a t-shirt or postcard, he's supposed to help wipe out civilization in an apocalyptic battle since ol' God is having a temper tantrum over the disbelieving masses.

Yet ready to use his own willpower and conscience to save rather than destroy, after slicing off his wings and amassing an arsenal of weaponry, Bettany decides to fight on the side of humans by joining a small group of individuals that just so happen to be stationed at the site of the day's apocalyptic showdown.

Staged at a purposely Edward Hopper-esque Nevada diner stranded in the middle of the desert where a pregnant waitress is told by Bettany that her baby is the only hope for the human race, a group of workers and strangers stuck in the eatery band together to ward off evil armies of everyday people who've come under a demonic spell in a gruesome battle to the end.

The film is reminiscent of vintage horror in the way it builds its ensemble cast of characters brought to life by talented actors such as Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton and Lucas Black and then updates the vein by putting them in an extraordinary supernatural circumstance a la contemporary fare like 28 Days Later or The Mist.

And while it does thankfully rely more on the mood and atmosphere and the vagaries lurking out there in the darkness rather than simply giving us nonstop carnage, there's still not enough going on the in the film for us to feel terribly involved.

Similar to '80s genre horror like Friday the 13th wherein the individuals onscreen are mostly interchangeable “types,” the same is true in this movie, which actually does a better job of making us care about supporting players like man-on-the-run Tyrese Gibson and a troubled teenage daughter of yuppies as opposed to the pregnant smoker who doesn't even want the baby she's carrying.

Despite the fact that God, angels and obvious Revelations are players, thankfully, Legion is not your typical religious picture even though it does contain some round-about moral messages woven into the narrative. However, part of its problem is in its very identity crisis as we're just not exactly certain what the movie wants to be from one act to the next as it dabbles in everything from action to faith to horror to fantasy and back again.

Yet one thing's for certain and that is even though it may not be 100% successful and even on Blu-ray the cinematography is often so dark you're straining your eyes at times to make everything out, you're entirely sure that Legion's best bet would've been to be released with some kind of built in or companion video game so that we could at least raise some hell along with maladjusted angel Bettany.

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FTC Disclosure: Per standard professional practice, I received a review copy of this title in order to evaluate it for my readers, which had no impact whatsoever on whether or not it received a favorable or unfavorable critique.