In Legion, God has lost faith in mankind and sends his angels to exterminate them.
He sends the angel Michael (played by Paul Bettany) on a specific task, which isn’t clear until the end of the film. He travels to the middle of nowhere (also known as the Mojave Desert) to protect the unborn child of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki), a waitress.
The rest of the angels in God’s army, led by Gabriel (Kevin Durand), stage a massive attack on humankind and try to kill the baby in Charlie’s womb. Michael ends up fighting against his fellow angel soldiers because he knows that there is still kindness left in humankind.
Director Scott Stewart’s concept of God as being tired and disappointed in the human race is believable. Mankind has really messed itself up, by itself, with global warming, war, terrorism and criminal acts. But I don’t see God exterminating the entire human race.
Then again, Stewart’s point of the film is that God doesn’t destroy the entire human race, and that there are still genuinely good people in the world. Yet Stewart contradicts himself when Michael appears to know what God needs, even if God doesn’t know. To say that God is an infinite being and knows all things is to say that He doesn’t need an angel to tell him what He needs. He already knows.
Now that I have berated Stewart a little bit, I will give him his due in that he and Peter Schink have written a great script that is thought-provoking and serves as a catalyst for intense dialogue and debate. I should know: I had a heated debate with my best friend, Lola, on religion and God’s wrath because of Legion. It’s a good thing Lola and I have learned to appreciate each other’s differences and similarities.
“(It’s) just another movie, man. My faith was not tampered with,” said Tyrese Gibson, 31, who plays the role of Kyle, a human being in the film. “This is Scott Stewart’s version of the way he sees the world.”
I took some time out a few weeks ago to talk to Gibson, a self-professed Christian and regular churchgoer.
Originally, Gibson said, he decided to do this film because of the talented actors attached to the film. But once he saw the direction in which Stewart was taking the film, he said, he was glad to be a part of Legion.
“It was my first time ever sharing scenes with an actor (Bettany) that I was not a fan of before I worked with him,” said Gibson, one of the creators of the Mayhem comic series that is making history with iTunes and Apple.
Bettany is the kind of actor who only picks the really good roles, so he’s not seen in front of the camera often. But when he is in front of the camera, he gives a surreal performance. His role as Michael in Legion is no exception. Bettany is a great actor.
Other actors of note in this film are Palicki’s Charlie, who grows to be the woman and mother she needs to be when the time is ripe. Charles S. Dutton as Percy Walker serves as the religious voice of the audience. He’s another actor who only picks the really good roles because he’s just a great actor; he was also Gibson’s mentor on set. Kate Walsh as Sandra Anderson shows audiences her acting range: She plays a real loony, nothing like her character on Private Practice.
Lucas Black as Jeep has redeemed himself from Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift, and represents the good human being that I mentioned previously. Durand as Gabriel is a likable villain, with his follow-direction-without-question mentality and the inner war going on within himself between right and wrong.
Gibson, whose performance in Legion is refreshing in its frank honesty and realness, tries to be humble about the opportunities he’s been given as an actor. He’s also grateful for his blessings.
“God will never give you something somebody else is supposed to have,” he said about his career. “I’m just out here trying my best to maintain the blessing because He could have given this to anybody.”
With so much enthusiasm about working with great actors and doing great films, I can’t wait to see what Gibson does with Luke Cage, the first black comic book hero. The film version of the comic is in development right now, but I’m sure that when the time comes, Gibson will be just as real with Luke as he is with all of his other roles.
For those of you who have already seen Avatar twice, you should take some time to see Legion, if for nothing else than to get a great dialogue going about God. I’m sure He’d love that.
To access Gibson’s comic book series, Mayhem, you can log on to www.itunes.com and buy the track, “Take me Away.” The comic series is attached to Gibson’s latest singles.