Legion: Christmas time, but there’s no mistletoe and wine in this film, where Michael (Paul Bettany, right), an angel who’s had enough of his lot, comes to Earth to warn mankind of the oncoming doom, starting with a moment as two cops are about to arrest him for mysteriously blowing a hole in a building in the shape of a cross, telling them that if they don’t cease and desist then they “will die along with the child” but what is he on about?
Meanwhile, we then go to a crappy diner called Paradise Falls, in the middle of nowhere and run by grumpy Bob (Dennis Quaid) and Percy (Charles S. Dutton), the latter of whom has a hook for a left-hand, not that there seems to be any particular necessity for this in the film. Also employed are Bob’s son and the local mechanic, Jeep (Lucas Black) and waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki). Its few customers number drifter Kyle (Tyrese Gibson) and a family whose car broke down two hours earlier and they’re still waiting for it to be fixed, dad Howard (Jon Tenney), mum Sandra (Kate Walsh) and their short-skirted hottie of a daughter, Audrey (the gorgeous Willa Holland, below-right).
A pleasant old woman comes into the diner and orders a rare steak and a glass of iced water, then insults the heavily-pregnant Charlie for not staying with the father of the child, is incredibly nasty to the others and events then turn very ugly indeed, not least the old woman herself, as she isn’t what she appears to be…
At that point it becomes a film that features zombies, swarms of flies, the TV, radio and phone going out… and then Michael turns up to tell them that the end of the world is approaching and he’s there to help. There is a reason why he has picked that diner and you will eventually find out what that is.
Legion is a film that was slagged off by critics, but I found was one that looks stylish, has a cast that works well together but at it’s heart is a typical “Who’ll die next?” film. Overall, it’s total bollocks, but for the most part is hugely enteraining bollocks. It’s main problem is that it can’t really come up with a proper ending and has one that feels a bit all over the place, hence, starts to fall apart in the final act.
Presented in the original 2.35:1 anamorphic theatrical ratio, the picture is sharp, detailed and colourful with no problems whatsoever, bringing out the great scenes in bright light and darkness. For the record, I’m watching on a Panasonic 37″ Plasma screen via a Samsung BD-P1500 Blu-ray player.
Audio-wise, you get a 5.1 DTS HD MA soundtrack, for which I got the 5.1 DTS version, which is faultless when it comes to getting across what is mostly gunfire. It doesn’t do a great deal else though, but does what it needs to without a hitch.
The extras are as follows:
- Bringing Angels to Earth: Picture-in-picture: Writer/director Scott Stewart takes you through the project and how it was made from start to finish, in a feature-length kind of ‘visual commentary’ which has 61 chapters… far more than the mere 16 the film had itself.
- Creating The Apocalypse (23:43): This looks at the special effects used, the segment mostly being led by special makeup effects designer and supervisor Glenn Hetrick as well as many of the cast members.
- Humanity’s Last Line of Defence (11:32): a featurette about why and how all the main cast members were chosen, with chat from them alll.
- From Pixels To Picture (10:57): The director and others talk more about the visual effects work done in this film, focusing on the CGI.
- Designing Paradise Falls (16:37): Creating the interior and exterior of the diner.
- Designed for Action: Blueprint of a scene (10:21): But I can’t say which particular one as that would be a spoiler.
- Trailers: Don’t get excited… there’s none for this film, which is a bizarre Sony trait recently. Instead, you get Armored, District 9, Zombieland, 2012 and Boondock Saints II: All Saints Day.
The menu mixes clips from the film with some incidental music. There are subtitles in English, French, Italian, Arabic and Hindi. The chaptering is a low, but usual for Sony, 16 which isn’t enough. I work on the rule of thumb for approximately one every five minutes, ensuring one apiece for the opening and closing credits.
Running time: 100 minutes
Cat no: SBR52639
Released: August 2010
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: 5.1 HD, DTS 5.1, Dolby Digital 5.1
Languages: DTS 5.1 HD: English, French, Italian
Subtitles: English, French, Italian, Arabic, Hindi
Widescreen: 2.35:1 (Super 35)
Disc Format: BD50
Director: Scott Stewart
Producers: David Lancaster and Michel Litvak
Screenplay: Peter Schink and Scott Stewart
Music: Ramin Djawadi
Michael: Paul Bettany
Bob: Dennis Quaid
Percy: Charles S Dutton
Jeep: Lucas Black
Charlie: Adrianne Palicki
Kyle: Tyrese Gibson
Howard: Jon Tenney
Sandra: Kate Walsh
Audrey: Willa Holland
Gabriel: Kevin Durand
Gladys: Jeanette Miller
Minivan Boy: Cameron Harlow
Ice Cream Man: Doug Jones
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.