Oh noes! The Apocalypse and junk!
Author’s note: an earlier, slightly edited version of this post appeared on my blog, Elephants, Ideology, and Orange Juice. I’ve been out of town and dealing with no AC and living in an oven, so…yeah.
So, today I’m feeling inspired by the (fairly) recent apocalyptic thriller by Scott Stewart, Legion. It stars Paul Bettany as renegade angel Michael, who blows shit up, has an awesome knowledge of modern weaponry, and is sent to save (yet) another HOLY WHITE BABY from, like, totes evil minions.
Michael is actually here of his own volition, having defied God’s will to come down here and save the wee tiny fetus from…um…God.
Why? To quote Brian Griffin: GOD. IS. PISSED.
Why is God angry enough to smite us all? Uh. Well. That’s not really discussed.
Ok, well, what makes this baby so special? That’s…not really mentioned either.
Also, why the hell does the character Jeep (for realz, y’all, that’s his name) have an incredibly awesome Southern accent? He lives in the frickin’ Mojave desert! In a “town” named (get this!) “Paradise Falls” and is Dennis Quaid’s son. Now, I know that they probably didn’t feel up to getting a dialect coach for Lucas Black (aka that kid from “Sling Blade”), but still… I take offense to the “Dude lives in a trailer so he must have a ‘trashy’ accent” trope. Also, seriously, did we need another “spoiled brat reconciles with rich, obnoxious parents who are APPALLED! to be stuck at a truck stop” thing or a “Older, wiser Black man who’s ‘seen things’ gives words of wisdom to the young thug” scene?
Basically, as was discussed with my besties last night, this movie comes across like something from an Intro to Screenwriting class. There’s lots of “show, don’t tell” which is good, but it’s always so…overdone. The idea of the story (God being pissed at humans for their wicked ways, so he tries to smites them) isn’t too bad, but could have been explored in a better, and more logical way. Or at least in a way that somehow had some semblance of a plot. And, really, we were spared FOR NOW *dum dum dummmm* because Michael was able to change God’s mind? Because the shmuck Jeep never gave up on the pregnant, smoking, snarky Girl Of His Dreams? (She’s also apparently slut-tastic, which is a whole ‘nother thing I take issue with, but won’t get into now. Why’d it have to be insinuated that she’s a skank, just because she’s a pregnant single woman who doesn’t like The Dude That’s Right For Her? Mrar.)
I enjoyed Paul Bettany (possibly mostly because I have always and will always love him and will fight Jennifer Connelly and her eyebrows for him in an epic battle at some point in the future). And some of the dialogue was so-bad-it-was-awesome (my personal favorites were all uttered by Tyrese, like something along the lines of “Why do I have to explain the motherfucking meaning of the word pestilence?” Also, another gem is the line “It’s because I woke up hoping to get double teamed by a couple of meth head truckers in some bathroom of a desert shithole. It’s good that we got stuck here.” That was not said by Tyrese, but by the aforementioned spoiled brat.) And I enjoyed the line “And yet in the midst of all this darkness I see some people who will not be bowed. I see some people who will not give up even when they know all hope is lost. Some people, who realize being lost is so close to being found.” It’s a sentiment that I can enjoy on a few levels, but then the dialogue goes to shit again.
Legion is a case of something trying a little too hard without really trying at all. Which is kind of amazing