Rajeev Masand – movies that matter : from bollywood, hollywood and everywhere else

March 5, 2010

Angels & Demons

Filed under: Their Films — Rajeev @ 9:14 pm

March 05, 2010

Cast: Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson

Director: Scott Charles Stewart

In an opening voiceover in Legion, we’re informed that God – “tired of all the bullshit” – has decided to end all of mankind.┬áHaving used up the flood option previously, it seems He’s chosen this time to destroy the earth with predictable B-movie cliches like a storm of flies, an army of zombies, and my personal favorite: a crazy old grandma.

Having watched films with similar apocalyptic themes, like The Day After Tomorrow and 2012, I can understand if you’re a little under-whelmed by His choice of destruction tools. But they do scare the heebie-jeebies out of the folks trapped in the desert diner that’s chosen as the headquarters for this end-of-days saga.

Although nobody once bothers to tell us how or why, we are informed that the pregnant waitress at this dusty diner will give birth to a baby who is humanity’s last hope. That, you see, is why all those destructive forces are heading towards the diner. It’s also the reason why heavily-tattooed Archangel Michael (played by Paul Bettany) shows up with his wings clipped and a boot packed with guns, determined to protect the unborn baby and the group of people trapped inside the diner, including Dennis Quaid who stars as its owner.

If this were merely a senseless action film, you wouldn’t hate it so much. The special effects aren’t all bad and there are some cheap thrills to be had in the zombie-killing scenes too. But what I most enjoyed is a terrific, unpredictable scene in which a doddering old biddy appears to suddenly go mental in the middle of her meal and bite off a man’s neck, then climb the walls of the diner before being shot at point blank range.

Those, as far as I’m concerned, are the only ‘paisa vasool’ moments in this otherwise preposterous and pretentious film that tries to pass itself off as a biblical message-movie. There’s so much ridiculous dialogue about heavenly prophecies and the destiny of mankind that in the end you leave with a throbbing headache.

Shortly after the birth of that baby Bettany’s character declares, “The future has been unwritten.” To be fair he might as well have been speaking of the film itself, which hardly appears to have been written either.

I’m going with one-and-a-half out of five for Legion; it’s your standard B-grade action movie and I can’t think of one reason you’d be willing to waste time and money sitting through it!

(This review first aired on CNN-IBN)

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