Legion (TV Movie Review): I Can't Even
Their mission was simple… Kill something that couldn’t be killed.
What I Like
The movie is only an hour and a half long.
What I Don’t Like
In the year 2036, a special forces team comprised of imprisoned military elites are sent to infiltrate an enemy base. Upon arrival, the crew finds the base abandoned except for a room filled with dead soldiers. Something has done their work for them and that something is still there. As they succumb to the darkness, one by one, the team must face the stark truth of the situation: One of their own is the killer.
To children of the VHS age, Blockbuster was a big deal. Some of you whippersnappers may not remember an era before digital streaming, but before the internet simultaneously ruined and bettered everything, video stores were where the cinephiles went to stroke their film fetishes. Movies have always been a big deal in my family because they brought the whole family together and Legion was a made-for-TV video release my father had rented one time. Something about its action, sci-fi, horror aesthetic stuck with me through the years and the film remained buried in the depths of my temporal lobe.
I had thought the film lost to the machinations of the tech boom, but this is the internet, folks. Where there is a will, there is a way. That’s my way of saying someone posted it to Youtube. Nostalgia is a hell of a drug.
I’m not going to sugar coat it; this film is a garbage dump on fire. Imagine Suicide Squad mashed with the Doom film adaptation and that should give you some perspective on what this movie is like. This is easily up there as one of the worst movies I’ve ever seen in my life. It belongs in cinema hell, right next to Mortal Kombat: Annihilation. Here’s the thing about garbage dump fires: They can keep you pretty warm on those winter nights.
Sometimes watching a train wreck in slow motion is just the thing you need and this film certainly fits that criteria. The special effects look like something from a Playstation one video game. The acting is atrocious. It’s so bad that Corey Feldman’s performance is actually one of the stronger ones in the film. Genre fans may recognize Terry Farrel for her role as Jadzia Dax on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, but don’t look to her as your saving grace. Although her performance on Deep Space Nine is pretty solid, in Legion she’s one of the worst. It’s more than likely she had a better director to guide her performance on Star Trek.
The most entertaining piece of this film is the writing. There are some really stand out lines, as far as awfulness is concerned. The problem is none of it was meant to be self-aware or tongue in cheek. Actors deliver the lines as if they were supposed to be saying this shit seriously and character dialogue is often crammed full of exposition. My favorite line came early in the first act when Parker Stevenson gets into a spat with Terry Farrel and says the following:
It would be a lot easier to hate you, if you just weren’t so pretty.
There are golden nuggets of turdom like this speckled throughout the writing of the film. That is where the movie gets it’s entertainment value and not much anywhere else. Nothing is really happening in the film action or horror wise. There are no characters for you to care about so there is no dramatic tension and thus no horror.
The action scenes are few and far between. Most of the movie is actors doing impersonations of what they think military people sound like and waving around guns that rarely get used in the dark. However, most action films from the 80’s/90’s suffer from “I’m a civilian who doesn’t understand military culture” syndrome.
In conclusion, if you like watching horrible films to laugh at and not laugh with(an important distinction), this burning barrel of refuse just might be the cure for your itch. Roast a few marshmallows for me.
What are some films you watched when you were a kid that don’t hold up now? Do you enjoy watching steaming piles of cinematic doo doo that could possibly be labeled as a crime against film? Let me know in the comments below!