Movies: Legion * *
(16, General release)
I have never quite understood the worrying American obsession with enactments of the apocalypse, but they're at it again in this strange and crude action film from writer/director Scott Stewart.
Usually it's atom bombs or aliens that are the culprits, but in Legion God is public enemy number one.
At the start of the film, in a clumsy and shameless reference to Terminator, a strange man (Paul Bettany) lands from nowhere in a Los Angeles street and immediately proceeds to arm himself.
Having whacked a couple of cops and stolen their squad car, he speeds off to a remote diner in the middle of the New Mexico desert and introduces himself to its bemused inhabitants.
He is Gabriel, yes that Gabriel, and he brings mixed news. God has grown so hacked off with man's inhumanity to man that he has decided to call time on our antics and wipe the lot of us out. To this end a biblical plague has been arranged, with the added ingredient of a mysterious virus that turns the feebleminded (of whom there has never been a shortage) into shuffling vampires. Even as Gabriel is explaining all this, dark clouds are gathering around the diner and crowds of zombies are sidling up to it.
In defiance of God, Gabriel is here to protect the unborn child of waitress Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), who would appear to be some sort of embyonic messiah, and the good folk at the diner, led by the owner, Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid), pitch in to help.
Thus, in spite of its rather grandiose plot, Legion soon descends to your basic zombie shoot-em-up. And in spite of the odd flash of visual flair, it has precious little to recommend it.