Legion

A supernatural thriller about a renegade angel and a handful of patrons at a rural diner who battle a legion of angels to protect the birth of a new messiah. Or at least I think that’s what it kind of was. This movie has a confusing worldview that I am not sure the filmmakers even understand. It utilizes traditional Judeo-Christian concepts of angels, God’s judgment and spiritual warfare and weds it to a capricious God more like fickle pagan Mesopotamian deities than like Yahweh of the Bible.

Michael, evidently “falls” from heaven and cuts off his own wings because he is rebelling against God. Why? Because God is sending his legions of angels to judge mankind just like he did with the Great Flood, but Michael is portrayed as having more love for mankind and faith in their goodness than God himself. As Michael says, “God lost faith in man. I didn’t.” In fact this phrase or something like it is spoken multiple times throughout the film. The word faith becomes a key phrase used over and over. Someone says, “I lost faith in God,” and Michael responds, “And God’s lost faith in you.” “The last time God lost faith in man, he sent a flood.” It’s as if God is on the level of humans having faith in something beyond himself.

So, Somehow a new messiah is going to be born to a little waitress in a podunk town (just like Jesus), but God has changed his mind and wants to kill the human race instead of saving them, and start over. And he has to start with killing the new messiah, so he sends his angels to kill the Anointed One to be born (like Herod slaughtering the innocents to kill Jesus). This confusing contradictory mess of a worldview is compounded by the expressly stated theme that bookends the beginning and end of the movie: “Why is God so mad at his children? I don’t know I think he just got tired of all the bullshit.” In this story, God appears to be a tiresome, angry, vengeful bully as opposed to a righteous judge and king.

When Michael fights the angel Gabriel (who has remained faithful to God’s commands) Michael is killed, but then somehow is resurrected with his wings (what the…?) to fight Gabriel again, and decides to let Gabriel live, something Gabriel admits he would not have done (being a vengeful unforgiving angel that he is). Then Michael tells Gabriel that Gabriel was wrong to obey God: “You gave him what he asked for. I gave him what he needed” [in protecting the new messiah and forgiving wicked humanity]. So again, Michael is more “compassionate” more “wise” than God or Gabriel, his faithful angel — as if there is some higher goodness than God.

So, a mere angel, Michael, loves mankind more than God does; God is impetuous, impatient and impertinent; the good angels act like demons (they possess people and turn them into demonic killers with black eyes and fangs). Legion is a story that subverts the Judeo-Christian narrative and makes God and his angels the villains, and the rebel angel the hero (remember the other rebel angel, Lucifer?). The worldview of Legion is essentially Humanism that believes mankind is good and God is a violent destructive concept to society.

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