Friday, July 23, 2010

Legion: When a Movie is a Mess

Frustration is when good potential is wasted. This year we had a chance for an explicitly religious, philosophical story in the movie Legion, but it was wasted. It was wasted because the movie squandered any intelligent thought about truly religious themes. It was wasted because they got good actors and did nothing with them. It was wasted because it was simply boring and a bad movie.

The idea (if one could really call the plot something someone really thought about) is that God has given up on humanity and sent the angels to destroy everybody. The problem is that God’s chief angel has rebelled and decided to save humanity by preventing the death of a new messiah. The whole problem with this superficially Judeo-Christian story is that anyone with even a slight knowledge of Judeo-Christian tradition recognizes the fact that they got all the names wrong. The chief angelic being who rebelled against God was Lucifer, not Michael. The idea of a “new messiah” is not new, but that Christ is not the real Christ but rather an anti-christ. So what this movie presents us with is a story of Satan rebelling against God and saving the antichrist, and the audience is asked to side against God.

Of course, the biggest problem is that the god of this story is no god at all. He is a capricious being who is unable to influence creation and who has “lost faith” in mankind. Basically, this is a mess that you get when you have a less than talented writer trying to deconstruct something as dense as Christian tradition/theology with no idea what he wants to say and no idea how to say it.

That does not bode well for the potential of his next genre product: next year’s Priest.

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