"Legion" is Not so Angelic

03/25/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Movie Review Jackie K Cooper

Hollywood is on a roll of religion mixed with violence. Why? Religion can attract a key audience, as can movies that are violent and profane. So taking the easy way out, we are seeing a glut of movies that are religious, violent and profane.

Such was the case with "The Book of Eli" and such is the case with "Legion," a new movie that features angels as the villains. In this new film, God has gotten sick and tired of the human race and has decided to destroy it. Instead of sending a flood or something else like that, he decides to let loose his angel population to infest hordes of humans and have them destroy each other. But in true God-like fashion, he leaves a loophole. There is a baby boy that is going to be born who can save the world.

The angel, Michael (Paul Bettany) decides to go off on his own and try to save this yet to be born baby. His main adversary is the angel, Gabriel (Kevin Durand) who is intent on carrying out God's orders.

The main battle is brewing outside a diner located on an isolated strip of road. Inside the diner are the owner Bob (Dennis Quaid) and his son Jeep (Lucas Black). There is also a short order cook named Percy (Charles S. Dutton), as well as a pregnant waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki). The customers are the Anderson family who are there because they are having car trouble. This family includes the mother Sandra (Kate Walsh), the father Howard (Jon Tenney) and their daughter Audrey (Willa Holland). There is also an enigmatic stranger named Kyle (Tyrese Gibson).

Michael soon arrives to protect the baby Charlie is carrying. She is only eight months pregnant, so it might be a long wait. Jeep is not the father of the baby, but he is devoted to Charlie and will do anything to help her.

The enjoyment factor for this film lies in the variety of the characters and the action sequences that ensue. There isn't a big star among the cast, but each is perfectly suited for the role in which they are cast. Particularly interesting is Lucas Black. He has been learning his craft for years now and is a very competent young actor. All those indicators in "Slingblade" that he was an actor with a bright future are still there.

Bettany is also good as Michael. He has the requisite super-hero physique and the mystical demeanor the role requires. If you are going to believe someone is otherworldly then Bettany is the right choice for the part.

The film is rated R for profanity and violence.

The plot of the movie never makes sense but in this type of film you just have to go with the flow. If you want to pick apart the theology then you are going to have a field day, but if you just want to enjoy an action movie that has some solid performances you will be entertained.

I scored "Legion" an angelic 5 out of 10.

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Paul Bettany