Legion (Blu-ray)

January 28, 2012 6 Min Read

Review by: Matt Brighton

Plot: What’s it about?

I know it’s wrong to judge a book (or a Blu-ray, as the case may be) by its cover, but I just couldn’t help myself. In one hand there’s “Legion”, with an angel of sorts holding a gun in one hand and a knife in the other. Cool! Then, of course, I watched the movie and, well, let’s just say that the graphic designers who designed the cover art probably took a few liberties. Now I’ve seen plenty of films that deal with the end of the world, apocalypse, and the rapture – however you want to phrase it. But when you tackle such a thing as the end of civilization (or in this film, God’s frustration with mankind), you must tread a bit carefully. All that aside, let’s talk about casting for just a second. On the cover we’ve got Paul Bettany known for his work in “A Knight’s Tale” and “A Beautiful Mind”, a fine actor for sure. Then we’ve got Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton, Lucas Black (“Friday Night Lights” and “Fast and Furious: Tokyo Drift”) and Kate Walsh. So the talent is there, but is the story. And speaking of which…

We meet Michael (Paul Bettany) and who we assume is St. Michael, the most powerful angel in heaven. He’s come down to earth to carry out God’s wishes and exterminate mankind. Michael doesn’t agree with God’s wishes and therefore removes his wings, steals a cop car and that’s the last we see of him for a while. Hmmm, ok. We then meet the remainder of the cast in a diner out in the middle of nowhere, aptly-titled “Paradise Falls.” See the symbolism here? Bob (Dennis Quaid), the owner of the diner has had a tired life and his son, Jeep (Lucas Black) is in love with a pregnant girl (Willa Holland) whose offspring may or may not be the key to saving mankind. They’re attacked by an ice cream man who looks more like Plastic Man, an old woman who scales the walls and the angel Gabriel himself. Are our heroes doomed or will good triumph over God’s will?

“Legion” had some good parts in it, and I probably would have liked the film a lot more if it had tried to be a bit more spiritual as opposed to a cheap horror movie. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case and though there were some pretty decent scenes, it was “been there, done that” territory for me. There was top notch talent involved in the project, for sure but the best talent in the world can’t make a film work if the essentials aren’t there. I think what really happened was that the filmmakers lost their focus. That’s to say, did they want to make a zombie movie, a religious movie or something in between? I’d have liked to see a more biblical version of this film as the final moments were pretty interesting to watch. Still, this wasn’t the case so I’ll have to add this to the “check your mind at the door” category.

Video: How does it look?

Sony has presented “Legion” in a 2.40:1 AVC HD transfer that, well, leaves a lot to the imagination. The film was shot in a very offbeat manor, utilizing many different hues and a different style of contrast that look cool on screen, but as far as image quality goes; I’ve seen better. The image seemed a bit flat to me and didn’t have that “3-D” effect that I’ve seen on some other Blu-ray’s. Flesh tones are all over the map as we see the undead (or possessed) and we get a variety of special effects that play with what’s right and what’s expected. Detail level is good, above average I’d say, but the grain in some of the shots really threw me off.

Audio: How does it sound?

Now the DTS HD Master Audio soundtrack is a bit different than the video in that it really has some awesome and powerful moments. The LFE are used and used well (what else would the presence of God require, right?). Dialogue is very strong and crisp and surrounds are used to great extent. There are plenty of gunshots to keep all the speakers happy and the use of the 360 degree sound field is evident. Translation – a great-sounding track here.

Supplements: What are the extras?

“Legion” comes with a variety of features, most notably the BD Exclusive “Bringing Angels to Earth” which features a picture-in-picture commentary with the director. While not a true commentary, we do get some visuals and some behind the scenes material throughout the film. Aside from that, we are treated with three featurettes that focus on the special effects, the cast and characters and the visual effects (of which there are many). Lastly, there is a digital copy of the film as well as MovieIQ, which pops up some interesting tidbits and factoids about the movie.

Disc Scores