starring Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyere Gibson and Dennis Quaid
written by Peter Schink and Scott Charles Stewart
directed by Scott Charles Stewart
I like Paul Bettany and I was intrigued by the premise of the film. But I was disappointed because it turned out to be just another kind of zombie movie. A small group of desert survivors in an apocalyptic world defeat legions of zombies.
God has lost faith in humankind and has decided to extinguish us, much as he did with the Flood in the time of Noah. But no flood this time. Instead angels descend to possess people and set them attacking each other. But the Archangel Michael (Bettany) still has faith in us and he refuses to obey God’s command. So he falls from grace. For some unexplained reason his mission in this film is to save the life of one unborn child, a child who should not be born in light of God’s resolution. How saving this one life will help redeem us all is a little unclear, but the violent action is
There is a climax duel between the Archangels Gabriel, who is trying to extinguish humanity in obedience to God, and Michael, who disobeys God for what he think is the Lord’s own good, because the Lord’s decision to extinguish us is wrong. Michael prevails. I think he prevails because he is motivated by love, a higher virtue than obedience. But the logic of it remains a little unclear to me. I am old fashioned enough that I always look for stories to make sense.
Legion reminded me of two other angel films: Dogma (a 1999 comedy, starring Ben Affleck and Matt Damon, in which two fallen angels search for atonement with God through their interactions with people), and Wings of Desire (or, Der Himmel über Berlin, 1987 German romantic fantasy in which an angel forsakes his immortality to love a human woman. In a quirky sub-plot Peter Falk appeared as himself.)