Legion - Blu-ray Review

'beyond the first thirty minutes of Bettany alternating between plot exposition, shooting people and basically being a bad-ass, there's nothing here to keep you invested or even entertained'

Although Scott Charles Stewart's Legion has plenty of detractors, it's difficult to give them much credence in an opening thirty minutes which features such standout moments as an old woman walking on walls, Paul Bettany in a trench coat, several large guns and a booming faux-dramatic score which will blow anybody in possession of a surround system into the middle of next week.

Unfortunately, like many single location thrillers, the Bettany staring, angel-based thrill ride runs out of gas much too quickly, rather like it's clumsy labelling of its one location's name ('Paradise Falls', because get it, this is where... oh never mind), an in-reference which runs its course almost before it's even made it onto the screen. Legion has elements that work but beyond those first thirty minutes of Bettany alternating between plot exposition, shooting people and basically being a bad-ass, there's nothing here to keep you invested or even entertained.

Every character beyond the Angel Michael (Bettany) is by turns predictable in their actions and basic in their development. There's Dennis Quaid, as a Father with some making up to do, Tyrese Gibson as a lost guy with a gun, Kate Walsh as a neurotic mother and, worst of all, a horribly mumbling Lucas Black as an introspective mechanic who just feels the need to protect Adrianne Palicki's pregnant mother-to-be. As if following Jack Nicholson's direction from The Departed, come the end of their collective and individual worlds they all 'act accordingly' and Stewart seems to take no definitive steps to prevent anyone from falling into stereotype.

There's some technical problems here too, almost inexcusable in something which purports to be a blockbuster. The lighting in the opening scene with Michael falling to earth is so under-cooked you almost can't see what's happening whilst the sound editing (particularly when concerned with character's dialogue) appears to have been set at different levels for different scenes, causing people to mumble one minute and shout the next. It's difficult to chastise Legion too harshly because it is at least for part of its runtime a film with a sense of humour, which knows how to have fun. Unfortunately though, for the most part, it's a film which struggles to expand its plot and confounds that fact with a series of grating minor problems and stereotypical characters.




Legion is out on Blu-ray and DVD in the UK on 9th August 2010, it is out in the US now.

Look further...

'Legion is a bad film. A film that takes a tried premise runs it into the ground, but even then has trouble finding the floor' - The Afrofilmviewer

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