Starring Dennis Quaid and Paul Bettany. Rated 14A. Opens Friday, January 22
In a recent review of Daybreakers, I mentioned that the promising but flawed vampire flick featured “the most entertaining exploding-body scene ever”. Well, it looks like 2010 is gearing up to be a banner year for exploding-body scenes, because Legion—no relation to The Exorcist author William Peter Blatty’s 1983 novel—sports a whopper as well. Its splatter scene features the finest bubbling pustules since Planet Terror and a shower of yellow acid blood that can eat right through to a spine in seconds.
Watch the trailer for Legion.
Sadly, this brief bit is one of the few worthwhile moments in this utterly ludicrous entry in the biblical-horror subgenre. Another involves a little old lady who transforms from a frail sweetheart into a cussing, throat-munching demon that scurries up walls like a goddamned spider monkey!
Almost all of the action in Legion takes place at a rundown gas station/diner located on a desert highway in Nevada or someplace. The dusty dump is owned and operated by a Busch-guzzling good ol’ boy played by the eternally squinting Dennis Quaid, who says stuff like: “Hell, just because it’s the end of the world doesn’t mean you gotta starve!” The diner becomes a refuge for a ragtag group of stereotypical victims-to-be, including the rebellious teenager and her self-important, BMW-driving parents; the rap-loving, handgun-toting L.A. gangsta; and the sensitive but tough hard-luck waitress with a baby on the way and no future in sight.
Legion’s embarassing story line revolves around the future role of this soon-to-be-born child. He’s the reason the old spider-monkey hag—and carloads of other similarly possessed peeps—show up to become machine-gun fodder for Michael (Paul Bettany), a tattooed archangel on a self-imposed mission to preserve mankind. Michael speaks softly and carries an impressive arsenal—including a knife that comes in handy for slicing off his own wings to pass as human. I could have used those suckers to fly safely away from this apocalyptic disaster.