Thursday, August 13, 2009

TRAILER TRASH: LEGION

Alright, time to start the slow crawl towards regular blogging again. And just for the fun of it, along with the regular silliness, I think I’ll get things going with some brand new silliness as well. Now, as odd as it may seem, I almost never go to the movies. I’m finally old enough that trying to watch a film in an auditorium full of drunk teenagers and half a dozen people using cell phones just isn’t worth the twenty bucks anymore. And besides, I just spent what few spare minutes I had this last week scouring the Internet for a 1978 made-for-TV Rankin and Bass production called The Bermuda Depths (an unexpectedly good film about a giant sea turtle and a girl with glowing green eyes), the only extant copy of which seems to be a rip some guy made from an old Betamax tape he recorded off TV back in the late 70s. Do I really sound like the target market for what Hollywood is churning out these days? Still, even though I’ve become a wait-for-the-DVD kind of guy, I do love me some trailers, and thought it would be fun to talk about some of the ones that catch my interest from time to time.

And I can’t think of a better one to start with than Legion, a movie not scheduled to be released until January 2010, but whose trailer just hit the web today. Now, be warned, this is a Red Band trailer, which means it can only be played before R rated films, and so contains a fair amount of coarse language and bloody violence. But if you have the stomach to watch it, you’ll understand why the subject matter is tailor made for this blog.

So, what do you think, huh? The plot’s appears to be pretty much a reworking of the Christopher Walken vehicle The Prophecy (1995), the gun toting angel is straight out of Gabriel (2007), and the money shot, the wall crawling grandma, is just a CGI enhanced version of the one we already got in The Exorcist III (1989). Worst of all, the theology is straight out of Kevin Smith’s Dogma (1999). In other words, complete bull kaka.

Angels changing allegiance after the fall? It’s pretty obscure theology, but that can’t happen.

God gives up on mankind out of disgust and calls the whole “covenant” deal off? By definition, God IS Good, so he can’t become the bad guy. Can’t happen.

But if He did decide to switch sides (which can’t happen) and become a liar and murderer, apparently He would still feel obligated to play by some kind of rulebook which contains a means by which a bunch of oafs in a diner can defeat God? What part of the definition of omnipotent do these guys not get? Can’t happen.

And best (or worst) of all, the whole plot seems to hinge on the second birth of the messiah, which God intends to stop. Yeah, God is going to try and abort Jesus. He’s pro-choice, who woulda guessed? Do I really need to say it? CAN’T HAPPEN!

Okay, obviously, this is just another story where the writers have approached certain elements of Christianity as just another bunch of fairytales to mine for ideas. There’s no real attempt going on here to be biblically accurate. Heck, there' doesn’t appear to be too much effort going on to be coherent. So that’s why I’m a little mixed on what to think about the trailer. On the one hand it’s a little irritating because I know some of the kids in my RE class are going to go see it, bring it up, and argue that it makes sense and could happen. Trust me, I’ve already had to listen to it with Dogma and Constantine. And if the church kids are buying into it, just imagine how much crappy theology is sinking into the heads of the non-church goers out there. (God can become a sociopath? Duh, why not?) But on the other hand, it’s hard to get too upset over this kind of story because, well, it’s just too stupid to take seriously. Most of the kids are going to forget all about it by the time they get to Taco Bell. And since it’s coming out in January, typically a time where the studios dump their filler product, there’s a 90% chance it will quickly disappear and be gathering dust on video store shelves by February anyway.

At which point I’ll probably rent it. Why lie?

So, any of you going to see it?

21 comments:

matthew archbold said...

that looks like they just kept thinking, "Oh this would be cool" and "this too."

Bad movie.

Derek said...

Nice article, really enjoyed reading it... I think as unbiblical as it may be, I think as a mature Christian I may rent it. I still have time to decide weather or not I want to, but just because of the spec. effects etc etc... But, I can't help but think that it would be a very poor choice in judgment to sit here and say it's unbiblical, and then watch it anyways? We're to not set any evil in front of our eyes. And this is probably one more movie I shouldn't watch... lol I don't know, anyways again nice article!

EegahInc said...

matthew, I think you hit the nail on the head. Back in high school & college I was heavy into comics and this reminds me of when Marvel wanted to cash in on the success of the Vertigo comics, but rather than have their Christianity-derived characters sit around and discuss metaphysics, thought it would be much more cool just to draw them shooting things.

Derek, I think your comment on "maturity" is the guiding factor here. As a discerning Christian there are certainly movies that are off limits. As I've mentioned before, I can watch Joe D'Amato's Ator movies with no problem, but some of his other efforts like, say, Porno Holocaust, I'll just have to go to my grave without having ever seen. The former may be goofy, but the latter would most likely be damaging.

My gripe with this trailer isn't so much that I expect all movies to be Biblically accurate, but rather the fact that, as I've learned from experience, some of our (how shall I say it chsritably) under-Catechized kids aren't going to recognize it as such.

Anonymous said...

nice to have you back!

Agree that this sort of thing is bad for the marginally catechized. It's probably a sin against charity, but I strangely found myself thinking about the US Episcopalian Church.....

Xena Catolica

PaperSmyth said...

Going to see this? Um, how did you say it? I think my husband would say the same as you: Can't happen.

EegahInc said...

"nice to have you back!"

Just remember I said slooow crawl back to regular blogging :)

"Can't happen."

So, could it be considered a boycott if all the Christians refuse to see it just because it looks stupid? Cause you know, their publicity department would probably love a good boycott.

Enbrethiliel said...

+JMJ+

Can we trace the "rogue angel as anti-hero" trope back to John Milton for making Satan a Romantic hero in Paradise Lost?"

At least Milton exposed Satan at the end, though . . . =S

EegahInc said...

"Can we trace the "rogue angel as anti-hero" trope back to John Milton..."

Most likely, but based on this trailer, I'm having a hard time imagining the guys who wrote Legion ever got around to reading Milton. About the closest they came to something with Paradise in the title was probably that old Willie Aames/Phoebe Cates movie Blue Lagoon rip off from the 80s.

Trev said...

typed legion movie plot theology into google and found your site. and very glad I did :)

Trev

EegahInc said...

Very glad you found us, Trev, always room for one more!

MissJean said...

I won't see it. One of my BFFs, who goes EVERYWHERE with me, is an angel. It would be awkward. Could I say that kiss-ass explosions and a hottie playing Gabriel make up for the fact that angels are portrayed as evil babykillers? No, I could not.

EegahInc said...

You know, I hadn't looked at it from that angle. Ever since the late 80s, when everyone decided they wanted to be Neil Gaiman, the stories are almost always about angels going bad. By now, the real angels must feel like the GEICO cavemen in those commercials. Every time a new movie comes out, they must just sit there thinking, "Dude, c'mon..."

That's a terrible analogy, but it's the first thing that came to mind :)

Baxtersbay said...

I just saw the trailer for this movie in the theater while watching District 9 and I had to check it out online because I thought I had a momentary brain aneurism and heard the whole thing wrong. One angel, Dennis Quaid and a bunch of humans are going to try and thwart an army of angels who are directed by God to exterminate humans and an unborn Jesus because he changed his mind about them having any value? Wow. Really? And guns are any good against angels? Gee...it's a shame someone didn't mention that to the Assyrians. I am so sick of all the anti-God garbage that Hollywood churns out. It sickens me that you say one unsupportive thing about any of the beliefs of feminists, pagans, patriots, Jews or fill-in-the-blank-sexuals and Hollywood throws itself into an apoplectic fit. Yet they demonize God every chance they get and spew forth inaccuracies and bold-faced lies about Christianity out of one side of their mouths, while trying to suggest the beliefs are nonsense out of the other. Like this foolish girl I know who claims Jesus never existed, but she swears The Da Vinci Code is based on fact. These knuckleheads don't even see the contradictions in their own beliefs! How can you claim Jesus never existed, while also claiming he was a real person who was married? It makes no sense to me at all. But what it does do is make me pray at night for God's kingdom to finally come before I lose all the compassion I have left for idiotic humanity and before these jackals warp and twist anymore innocent minds away from an accurate understanding of God. The entire town of Hollywood is fortunate that God isn't the monster they make him out to be. If he was, California would have fallen into the Pacific Ocean a long time ago. I will not be going to see this movie. And I won't protest it either. In fact, I'm just going to do what I do with most Hollywood movies. Just ignore it.

EegahInc said...

I just read where they introduced angels as characters on the show Supernatural. I've never watched it, so I don't know how the writers handle Christian elements, but I would be pleasantly surprised if NONE of the angels turned out to be turncoats or psychotics.

Anonymous said...

Seriously, its just a movie. I really doubt that they are using to try and brainwash everyone into thinking that God is a bad guy and might actually change his mind about people. Fiction is Fiction. Studios are too busy making money to try and aim at a higher goal of changing the minds and beliefs of the millions of Christians that will undoubtedly go and see the movie. Be less militant about things.

Damon Covert said...

I share your concerns about this one, brother. I most likely won't see this one. While it seems to offer some interesting points to ponder, I think it goes astray of Christianity pretty early on. Christ will come again in glory, and it won't be something that anyone can ignore. While I will agree that Satan and his minions are having their way with this world, they're content to allow - nay, persuade us that they don't really exist. God has a plan to redeem us all. The wicked who reject God and choose to live as they please will be judged. For a time, yes, there may be hell on earth for some, but for those who believe, there is nothing to fear.

EegahInc said...

anonymous,

"I really doubt that they are using to try and brainwash everyone..."

I agree, they're likely just trying to make a buck.

"Be less militant about things"

Here I have to disagree with your characterization. Militant is hiding a bomb in your underwear. I'm just arguing ideas.

Damon,

Thanks for dropping by. You know, I can almost sympathize with the fact that the day-to-day activities which make up the real cosmological struggle between good and evil don't really make for good action movie fodder. But you would think creative people could find a way to keep the theology a little more intact while adding some exciting chases and explosions. Wishful thinking, I suppose.

Dad.. said...

My co worker refuses to see this movie because "it's from the Devi land is putting doubt in your mind". HA! Reallyy.. there is no sinister plot to shake the foundation of our faith, and is just entertainment (hopefully). No person with half a brain would think this whole plot is really feasible. (hopefully).

EegahInc said...

Thanks for the comments, Dad. I couldn't help but notice you left yourself a few loopholes there :)

Seriously, if I HAD to lay any real evil at the foot of movies like these (besides the sin of bad filmmaking), it would be that it contributes to the growing notion these days that Christianity can be dismissed as little more than just another fairytale. Of course, the only way to convince people otherwise is through our everyday living as real Christians, but ragging on the movies is still fun.

Anonymous said...

I have seen the movie & it totally twists the sciptures making it 'man' centred. No sin, repentance, God, Jesus, Satan is mentioned. What I found most disturbing is the angels keep saying as the motto of the movie 'you give him what he asks, I give him what he needs' the setting & tone of voice I wouldn't know if they're talking about serviing God or the devil. Gives a lot of room for those who don't know the Bible to come to their own conclusion eg. I can continue to do drugs, sex with anything as long I do what is needed eg. accept Christ.

EegahInc said...

Thanks for the quick, Anonymous. It sounds like the movie turned out to be what everyone thought it would, kids playing loose with big ideas they never took the time to really learn about in the first place. Ah well, as I promised, it's on my Netflix queue, but buried deep down in it as I'm in no rush to see it.