Legion posterSo Legion opens with the following short exchange between a devoutly religious mother and her young daughter "Why is God so mad?" "I don't know, I guess he just got tired of all the bullsh*t." I got a good kick out of that beginning, and it sets the stage well for the little skirmish between mankind and God that takes place during the movie. Usually we get movies about people who have lost faith in God, but this time God has lost faith in man and sets Himself to the task of exterminating us. And how would He choose to execute such a mission? Why, by turning a lot of people into zombies and having us kill each other off, of course. Even the Almighty needs to be entertained!So we meet a random group of people in some roadside truckstop in the middle of some American desert. Dennis Quaid plays Bob Hanson, the owner. He bought the place thinking a nearby shopping mall would turn it into a huge success, but the mall was built in the wrong county, so he was left with a struggling business in the middle of nowhere, the perfect location for divine retribution. Under his employ is a geeky mechanic who's in love with the waitress, who's single and pregnant with the Last Hope For Mankind, and he gets a small but regular stream of caricature customers. LegionSandra and Howard are a young, married couple on their way to Scottsdale, Arizona. Tyrese Gibson plays Kyle, who's going through an ugly divorce and stops by because he's lost. And Jeanette Miller, an actor with more than half a century of acting experience, plays a sweet old lady named Gladys Foster. And Mrs. Foster is...well, it's best to let you find out about that on your own.Before long an angel named Michael (Paul Bettany, who you'll remember from The Da Vinci Code) shows up this is just after the, ah, incident with Gladys and warns the customers that more like her will be coming soon. He explains the situation with God, the impending extermination, and the fact that he used to be one of God's exterminators but decided to switch sides.[caption id="attachment_69778" align="alignright" width="340" caption="Lord of the Flies"]Lord of the Flies[/caption]That seems unwise to me, but no matter. The movie comes dangerously close to turning into nothing more than another movie about some random cross section of humanity trapped in some store or whatever and holding off against the evil forces outside. In fact, it does turn into that, but at least there's a little more to it.Unfortunately, the little more there is to it is all about this Biblical battle between mankind and God, which doesn't really seem like a fair fight, and the rivalry between Michael, the rebellious son, and Gabriel, the loyal son. Michael's trying to help the humans and Gabriel is sent to do the job that Michael screwed up, and I guess God is just kicking it up there in Heaven rooting for the destruction of the race that He created.[caption id="attachment_69779" align="alignleft" width="331" caption="The Good Son"]The Good Son[/caption]My real problem with the movie might just be chalked up to incomplete religious education. But I always thought God was, you know, omniscient and all-powerful, that kind of thing. Yeah, I understand that He works in mysterious ways, but would He really have to send out angel/demons to do His bidding? Michael informs us at one point that he used to be "a general in God's army." This was before he defected and joined the side of the humans, going against God himself in the process. But if God were betrayed like that, couldn't he just smite Michael down? I would've smoted him up good, man.[caption id="attachment_69780" align="alignright" width="325" caption="What'll it be, kids?"]What'll it be, kids?[/caption]At any rate, the first half of the movie is not bad at all. The waitress is assigned the role of Mother of the Last Hope For Mankind for no good reason, but the incident with Gladys and the transformation of the ice cream man are both some images that you'll not soon forget. Unfortunately, the movie gets pretty powerfully goofy about halfway through and never really recovers. The whole theological section of the movie is botched pretty thoroughly, but that's still not to say that the thing isn't entertaining. But the movie serves us a ham-fisted message about mankind's propensity toward violence and war and the characters speak almost entirely in ancient clichs and platitudes. It's got some entertaining gunfights and action, but in it's efforts to save mankind the movie forgets completely to save itself.The Bean MeterThe Man.