Bopping with Niall JP O'Leary

Niall O'Leary insists on sharing his hare-brained notions and hysterical emotions. Personal obsessions with cinema, literature, food and alcohol feature regularly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010


When Angels (and Omnipotent Beings) go bad - LegionWhen Angels (and Omnipotent Beings) go bad: Legion

There is a long honourable history of angels gone bad in literature and film. Obviously in literature we have Milton's 'Paradise Lost' (and even Dick's 'Upon the Dull Earth'), but on a less sublime level we have had "The Prophecy" trilogy (with a great cast too), 'Constantine' and 'Dogma' in cinema. There is even a history of 'God gone bad' in literature, Lester Del Rey's 'For I am a Jealous People' springing quickly to mind (God doesn't come off too well in the film 'Time Bandits' either). 'Legion' (God sends his angels to wipe out humanity) has the distinction of blending the two threads, but that's its only distinction. It makes the question of why God put evil in the world seem positively rational. (It also brings the question of why God put Hollywood in the world into very sharp focus.)
It would be unfair not to note that 'Legion' has some moments of happy surrealism (a demonic granny, a monstrous ice cream man), and a lot of unintentional humour that had the audience I saw it with cackling. However, there's not nearly enough of either to warrant wasting nearly two hours of your mortal life. You know you're in trouble when the Apocalypse is reduced to an assault on several people in a diner by a host of zombies (think 'Prince of Darkness', 'Assault on Precinct 13', in fact a good proportion of John Carpenter's oeuvre). It's that kind of a movie and not even a good attempt at that kind of a movie.
Dennis Quaid hams it up in a Popeye-type way and Paul Bettany takes it all too seriously, but it's not the cast that's the trouble. Ultimately there's just no getting over the preposterous story. I do kind of wonder why Gabriel always seems to get a bad rap, as if he's the next Lucifer just waiting to fall (though if he's going to be bad, at least 'The Prophecy' had Christopher Walken play him, rather than this film's somewhat bland Kevin Durand), but there's not much else to wonder about, I'm afraid. Except how this got made. Or why there's evil in the world.
A dreadful piece of silliness that doesn't bear even a moment's analysis, it stinks to high Heaven.

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