Legion Review: As Cliché as Avatar, Without the Big Budget

Coming in the wake of Avatar’s cultural tsunami and its controversial take on — among other things — earth and ancestor-based spirituality, Legion is decidedly old-fashioned in its monotheistic Bible-thumping and fear-mongering.

While director Scott Stewart (who penned the script with Peter Schink) obviously can’t compete with James Cameron’s mega-budget visuals, he does share with Cameron an affinity for cliché-addled story lines. Unbeknown to eight-months-pregnant, cigarette-smoking waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), the baby she’s carrying is coming to save us all. The heavily tatted, gun-toting angel Michael (Paul Bettany), drops from the heavens to act as protector, with a cavalry of “demons” (they’ve got a secret) in fast pursuit, setting the stage for a bloody biblical showdown.

This wan rebooting of the Christ tale has decent acting, serviceable if familiar visual effects, a few jump-in-your-seat moments, and the always crowd-pleasing gimmick of a senior citizen cussing up a storm. But the down time between action scenes is deadly dull and the film’s hoary cinematic shorthand (i.e., a young black man enters the film to the sound of hip-hop and fights with his baby mama) is more terrifying than anything else served up.


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