1/22/10

Legion

Photo a Day: 011|365
Two movies does not a trend make, however after a complete lack compelling movies with a Christian(ish) message, we finally have both The Book of Eli and Legion. Now, I say "Christianish," because neither of these movies contain the Gospel, neither of them attempt to convince anyone of the Gospel and neither of them would really be especially acceptable to the Christian community as a whole. But one thing they do have in common, and the element that I believe is beginning to bridge the gap with secular media reaching out through these movies and Christian media reaching out through movies like Passion of the Christ, is that they both treat religion and, specifically, Christianity with a great deal of respect.

But the average viewer isn't really interested in that, is he? So let's get on to the real meat and potatoes of this movie. Is it good?


We start off Legion by watching an angel fall from Heaven. We know he's an angel (or was an angel) because we see him sewing up a couple of horrible wounds where his wings should be. And we know he's from heaven because, after breaking into an armory and acquiring two duffel-bag loads of guns and ammunition, he blows a huge cross-shaped hole in the wall in order to escape. This angel is performing such audacious badness, it could only be one of the most fierce and awesome of Heaven's army. And when a possessed policeman mentions the angel's name, it's clear. This is Michael. At this point, anyone who knows basic Christian theology knows that Michael is an archangel, the highest rank of angels, and general over Heaven's army. This is explained later on for those who didn't know, but I immediately knew that this is one of the most powerful beings ever created. And anything short of taking down two policemen, one of them possessed, with his bare hands and stealing their car would be just downright disappointing.

The movie continues by telling the story of several people who are trapped for whatever reason at a small diner in the middle of the desert. One of those people is a woman who is 8 months pregnant. We are meant to assume because of the dialog from the possessed policeman that this unborn child is somehow significant. The rest of the characters have stories of their own. There's a mom and dad with an angsty teenage daughter, a tough black dude who got lost on his way, a religious cook who seems to eat quite well, the diner owner who's bitter at the world and his goody-two-shoes son who loves the pregnant woman (the child isn't his). All of these characters are played well enough. Interestingly, the least least convincing actor was the most recognizable. Dennis Quaid, the diner owner, just didn't strike me as a real person. At some points I thought "really? that's the way you wanna deliver that line?" Despite this, the dialog written for all the characters was superb.

Especially for Michael. You expect a higher being such as an angel to be well-educated and suave with his words, and Michael did not disappoint. His exposition of the plot was so beautifully woven, his reason for rebelling so emotionally charged that it gave a whole new meaning to the term "angel."

Despite this, the dialog did go on for a little longer than it should. I mean, you can only stare at a beautiful picture for so long. Likewise, you can only listen to a beautiful speech for so long. There were also some points where you just wanted the action to stop. It wasn't advancing the plot, it wasn't even advancing itself. It felt like they were trying to build tension, but really just boring the audience.

But I don't want to spend too much time on that point because I really did like the movie as a whole, and a lot of that has to do with the plot. With the order that God supposedly gave Michael, why he rebelled and the consequences of that action. But for that, I have to go into spoilers.