Monday, April 11, 2011

Ten Statements About....LEGION (2010)

"Raaaar!  I's A monsta!  A MONSTA!
1) Wow....Dennis Quaid playing a folksy patriarch type that made mistakes but loves his son....I haven't seen him play that before....rolls eyes

2) There's nothing quite so annoying to me than a stupid film that keeps insisting it's smart.

3) That being said, there are moments where I can envision that this was a smart script early on (very early on) in the pre-production. But along the line whatever smartness got trimmed out in favor of more gunfire and fighting and CGI special effects.

4) Wow...Charles S. Dutton playing an older black man with a strong spiritual side...I haven't seen him play that before....rolls eyes

5) When I first saw the trailers, I worried that this was going to be a bald-faced, Micheal-Bay-ized rip-off of The Prophecy. In retrospect, the producers were too busy ripping off Night of The Living Dead and Terminator to care about a lesser film like that.

6) There is no sense of these characters having any life outside the movie proper. No one here has a personality, they have 'types' that are differentiated by the types in other films by traits...but those traits are never explained. For example--why is Dutton's Percy missing one hand? It was set up to be a character beat, but ended up never being explained.

One of the actors discovers one of the gaping plot holes just
over the horizon....
7) If there's a flaw that, if corrected, would have lifted this film up from being just mediocre, it's that screenwriters Peter Schink and Scott Stewart just asks us constantly to 'go with it.' It's not just enough that we're told Adrienne Palicki's Charlie is about to give birth to a child that will save humanity; we need to know (much as Sarah Conner is told in Terminator) how he's going to do it. It's not just enough that we're told that Jeep (Lucas Black) has to find 'The Prophets'; we need to know who here prophets are--and telling me to buy a comic book isn't going to work. These might be the parts that were trimmed to make room for the punchy-punchy-run-run.

I am the overkill of The Lord!
8) Okay, let me get this straight--these Angels have razor-sharp wings, fight like freakin' Neo, and have this Swiss Army Mace that does everything, including spins like a top? I know the producers must have thought it was cool...but when that thing starts doing its julienne impression, I couldn't stop laughing.

9) The sudden re-appearance of one character thought dead at the climax effectively stops the character arc of Jeep (Who calls their son Jeep, by the way?) dead. His journey is never finished, which makes the final scene of him and Charlie playing at being Sarah Conner at the end of Terminator ridiculous.

10) You can take John Tenny's Howard, bite out his throat, snatch him away, and nail him to a cross before giving him his ticket out of the movie...but it in no way distracts from the fact that the two people who definitively die first are the only two people of color in the movie.

Overall...mediocre, mediocre, mediocre. It's a dumb film that mouths bullcrap about 'faith' in an attempt to convince you it's smart, asking you to just 'go with it' rather than work out the mythology that should be a major element of any film like this.

Other than enduring this, the other moment was cringing through....grumblemutter.....Regal's Firstlook when it gave me a chance to preview When In Rome. At one point, Kristen Bell describes her character as a 'workaholic with no time for romance'--at which point we cut to a scene where Bell's character describes herself to a friend as 'a workaholic with no time for romance' in almost the exact same terms...and my heart froze a little. I fear Ms. Bell may be lost to us.

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