It’s been a while since I’ve written a film review but I decided to start back up with a review on the film Legion because there have been so many differing opinions on the film. Being a film with heavy undertones of religious iconography there are those that love the film and those who hate it. I happen to like the film but the other two people who were with me when I screened the film hated it. One of them even wanted to walk out on the film.
The film concerns a group of diner patrons and employees who get stranded at a diner in the middle of nowhere in what appears to be a sign of a religious apocalypse. All of these people are from different backgrounds but what they all have in common is that they all have a past that leaves them with regret. Well, they’ll need to overcome this regret if they will be able to survive the night as the diner is assaulted by possessed humans (who are weak in spirit and faith) who have only one goal – to kill the woman and unborn child of a waitress at the diner whose child holds the key to saving all of humanity. To aid this waitress in her survival is the fallen angel Michael who has forsaken the rule of God in order to not only save the woman and her unborn child but all of humanity in the process. Unlike the similarly themed The Prophecy, Legion is a balls to the wall action film which also takes liberties with many quieter moments in the film that go a long way in delivering a theme about people who all live with some regret in their lives. This regret is the crux of the film as each character is put through the ultimate tests of overcoming that regret in order to save not only their own souls but humanity as well.
It would have been real easy for the film to simply have been an action-horror film that killed each of the characters for no other reason other than to have a huge body count but screenwriters Peter Schink and Scott Stewart go a long way in presenting realistic characters that want to atone for their pasts. The character Kyle (Tyrese Gibson) is a man just trying to be a good father but has spent his entire life living the lie of a gangster. His only goal is to be a good father but the mistakes of his past continue to haunt him. He sacrifices his life to save a child in danger of a rouge gang that have just killed the child’s father. Percy (Charles S. Dutton) sacrifices himself to save the life of one of the other diner patrons (a stranger before that very day) and Audrey (Willa Holland) who was the “bad girl” of her previous school finds it within herself to protect and save the life of a child who may hold the key to the future of humanity. Sacrifice and regret can be no stronger than in waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) who wanted an abortion but now wants to give her child up for adoption. She wants nothing to do with the child but through the course of the story she must face up to her fears and believe that there is a purpose for her and it lies within the future of her child. I could go into further details about each of the characters in the film and how their fates lie together (or apart as it seems with some of the characters) but just know that the writers were not trying to only craft a commercial thrill ride but something with more substance.
Although slightly heavy handed with the religious undertones, the film still manages to pack a punch for those willing to go for the ride. For those who are simply looking for an action-horror film this may not be 100% for them as the film does not hide its religious intent and those looking for simply a religious film than this might have too much action and horror elements. Either way, like The Prophecy (which many thought was too dark or too funny for a faith-based film), this film has split audiences.