Delightfully entertaining cornball mumbo-jumbo, "Legion" is the first major feature film from FX artist Scott Stewart and, while nothing that will likely be remembered years from now, the picture is at least a good deal of goofy, B-movie fun on a cold afternoon.
The film stars Paul Bettany as Michael, an angel who heads to Earth to protect the unborn child of a a truck stop waitress named Charlie (Adrianne Palicki, TV's "Friday Night Lights"), who happens to work in what appears to be beyond the middle of nowhere. So, why does he have to protect the girl? Well, only because God has lost faith in humanity and has started the process of the endgame. The unborn child has something to do with preventing humans from being wiped off the planet.
Michael arrives at the truck stop ready for a showdown and it's not long until he finds one as all manner of demons and other creepy creatures come towards the dinner - amusingly, first in an Ice Cream man truck, then by car (do demons carpool? The movie would appear to confirm that's a no, although given that they think the planet is ending anyways, I suppose they don't see a reason to be green.)
"Legion" tries to build up "From Dusk Till Dawn" style, but doesn't entirely succeed, as the picture starts to wander a bit in search of an ending. Michael fears the arrival of archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand), but the picture is otherwise a constant stream of gunfights and gross-outs - there are certainly a few inspired moments and more than a bit of creepy atmosphere, but the picture starts to get repetitive. The script does at least provide an additional level of entertainment, as it's loaded with more than a bit of mumbo jumbo (mixed in with a dash of well-aged end-of-world cheese), read by the actors - especially Bettany, who can do stone-cold seriousness with the best of them.
"Legion" certainly isn't without flaws, but the movie manages a few terrific moments and the cast manages to make the uneven material work reasonably well. Overall, it's enjoyable B-movie fun for an afternoon.
VIDEO: The film is presented in 2.40:1 (1080p/AVC) by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment. The picture, which mostly takes place in the desert in the middle of nowhere, has a rough, gritty appearance that the transfer looks to do justice to. Sharpness and detail are mostly first-rate, even in many of the film's dimly-lit moments.
Mild grain is seen during a good deal of the film, although the transfer handles the grain well and the intended look of the film is accurately presented. A little bit of light edge enhancement is seen, but the picture otherwise looked pristine, with no print flaws or other issues. The earthy, dusty color palette also appeared accurately presented, with no smearing or other faults.
SOUND: "Legion" is presented in DTS-HD 5.1. The film's sound design is enjoyably aggressive, with the surrounds firing up frequently throughout the picture to deliver all manner of effects (gunfire, creepy noises) and ambience. Audio quality is terrific, with punchy bass and well-recorded effects/dialogue.
EXTRAS: "Creating the Apocalypse" featurette, "Humanity's Last Line of Defense" featurette and "From Pixels to Picture" featurette. The Blu-Ray also offers "Bringing Angels to Earth" picture-in-picture feature, MovieIQ trivia and a digital copy of the film.
Final Thoughts: "Legion" has its share of B-movie thrills and an enjoyable lead performance from Paul Bettany. The Blu-Ray edition boasts solid audio/video quality, as well as a few minor supplements. Rent it.
The Film B-