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Thursday, Jan. 28, 2010 06:14 am

Legion will have you wishing for the end

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Another week at the movies, another film depicting the end of the world. This week’s offering, the abominable Legion, will have you wishing for the end of days. That would at least prevent other films like it from ever being made again.

Writer/director Scott Stewart starts off well, introducing us to a diverse group of folks who have the misfortune to be stuck at the Paradise Falls (get it) café in the Mojave Desert. Bad luck for them as this dingy spoon is to be the site of an apocalyptic throw down between the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) and the minions of his rival Gabriel. Seems that the waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) is about to give birth to a child who will eventually save the human race, which is what all the fuss is about.

The film’s most frightening moments, and one wonderful unintentional laugh involving a possessed old woman and a flying iron skillet, occur in the film’s first half hour. The veteran cast, including Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton, Kate Walsh and Tyrese Gibson, deliver sincere expressions of horror and disbelief and Stewart keeps things taut. Yet, once the angels show up, spouting cryptic prophecies and toting an arsenal that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger envious, the film falls apart. The story slows down and turns flabby, while the film’s cheap special effects put the final nail in this movie’s coffin. Legion itself isn’t frightening, only the fact that it was made is.

Contact Chuck Koplinski at ckoplinski@usd116.org.