There is good news and bad news when it comes to Sony Screen Gems’ Blu-ray release of LEGION. The good news is the MPEG-4 AVC 1080P picture and DTS-HD Master 5.1 audio is pretty spectacular. Framed at 2.40:1, the image is sharp and clean and flesh tones appear natural. The sound mix will give your system a nice workout with tons of appropriate surround action and a strong LFE channel to boot. Exactly what one would hope for from an action/horror film such as this.
The bad news is the film itself is treacherously bad. A series of stilted scenes held together by the thinnest of plot and some of the weakest dialogue in recent memory. There is no subtext whatsoever to be found in a single word uttered here. Characters are nothing more than stick figures moving aimlessly though a series of non-events. Meaning, that despite threats/promises from the main characters that things are about to get seriously intense, you’re gonna have to wait a whole lot longer than the 100 minute running time this film uses up for that to happen, because it never takes place within the boundaries of the film itself.
Logic is a stranger to LEGION. It’s hard to know whether or not there may have been something there at one time, but what made it to the screen defies any attempt to actually tell a story. Sadly, Screen Gems has a bit of a reputation for dramatically altering films in post-production from the filmmakers’ intent, so it’s altogether possible there was once a story and characters to be found here. But if so, they have become victims of the Hollywood marketing apocalypse that destroys films as if on a mission of creative genocide.
This is a film that could have, and perhaps should have, been made on a shoestring budget. As it is, the film was made cheaply by Hollywood standards and that would have been impressive on its own if they had maintained some semblance of a script. But even terrific actors like Dennis Quaid, Paul Bettany and Charles S. Dutton have no clue how to make the dialogue seem anything less than painful. The film essentially takes place in one location and could have been quite claustrophobic and exciting. And though the film has tons of digital effects, most of them have nothing to do with the story and the biggest moments are reserved for men in angel costumes walking through doors with lots of backlight. In other words, the digital effects are the film’s biggest shaggy dog story. They simply serve no purpose in the film, but look great in the trailer.
Knowing what it takes to get a film made, any film, makes it that much harder to give it a negative review. But in this case, Screen Gems has, once again, insulted its audience by offering them nothing of value. Not even mind-numbing entertainment. And if something of value had once existed in LEGION, Screen Gems has systematically stripped it bare. Not even the bones remain.