The movie’s central and bizarre theme is that God has lost faith in man and thus decides to exterminate humanity. To do this work of destruction, He sends angels armed with machine guns commanded by the Archangel Saint Gabriel.1
Everything Upside Down: Saint Michael the Rebel
The film presents a complete inversion of roles: instead of defeating Satan and the rebel angels in the great heavenly battle (Apoc. 12:6-10), the movie presents Saint Michael as the fallen angel who revolts against God. Saint Michael’s downfall was caused by his wish to save humanity when God, finding the human race no longer worthy of Him, decides to end humanity’s existence.
Legion also mocks the mystery of the Incarnation and the Mother of the Redeemer, Mary Most Holy, by presenting her as a dissolute and vulgar young woman pregnant with a “Messias.” Saint Michael the Archangel comes to protect the son born from that woman who he calls “the only hope humanity has of surviving.”2
God Loses Faith in Men! The movie’s very title – Legion – appears to have been taken from the Gospel of Saint Mark when he refers to the demons that possessed a man: “My name is Legion: for we are many” (Mark, 5:9.) Thus, the legions of angels commanded by Saint Gabriel are supposedly demons like those of the possessed man. Some quotations from the movie serve to show the great confusion among the film’s “angels”:3
“The last time God lost faith in man, He sent the flood. This time, He sent angels,” says the pseudo Saint Michael.
A dialogue between the pseudo-archangels is likewise offensive:
“Michael: I knew He’d send you, Gabriel. You were always so eager to please Him.
Gabriel: Unlike you… the rebellious son.”4
Legion “a morality tale”?
Movie director, Scott Stewart, comments on the film’s central idea:
“So, what if God decides that he’s lost faith in man? We always talk about having to have faith in God, but what happens if it happens in reverse? God loses faith in man and says ‘do it over?’ This is our approach to that.5
“I wanted it to be a morality tale. I was raised Jewish so I was an Old Testament guy with no experience reading Revelations so I read a fundamentalist view, a teaching guide of Revelations. It was nuts. Crazy stuff. Let’s make a movie about that stuff. The big line in the movie, that Paul [Bettany] says, is ‘The last time God lost faith in man, he sent a flood. This time he sent what you see outside.’”6
Irreligious absurdities do not stop there. In fact, the Saint Michael/Rebel Angel/Satan comes to save a waitress pregnant with the… “Messias!” The plot unfolds in a cheap roadside eatery on Christmas eve.
“A Not-so-Virginal Woman”
Actress Adrianne Palicki, who plays the feminine role in Legion, comments: “I’m ultimately playing the Virgin Mary, who is not at all a virgin.”
According to the reporter that interviewed her: “Palicki plays a not-so-virginal woman who is eight months pregnant with a Jesus-like messiah child.”7
When asked who the child’s father might be, she jokes back:
“God?” “The character, she is kind of loose, so you don’t really know who the father is.”
The interviewer adds:
“Palicki’s Charlie brings the forces of good and evil against each other as the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) comes to Earth to protect her, and evil forces are coming to stop the birth of her child.”8
Religion: “Crazy Stuff”
This irrational and violent terror movie ridicules and subverts the most fundamental truths of the Faith. Here one can see the deceitful and sordid portrayal of God’s justice, His mercy, His infinite perfection, the Incarnation of the Word, and the virginal purity of Mary Most Holy. The film completely destroys the distinction between good and evil, the good angels and the devils.
At the same time, the movie presents as “crazy stuff,” the possibility that God could punish humanity for its sins, as He did with the Great Flood. It takes the book of Genesis and distorts the anthropomorphic language which states that God “repenteth” to have “made them [men],” a statement which is meant to make clear the gravity of the sins committed (Genesis, 6:6.)
The Fear of the Lord is the Beginning of Wisdom
Such a mockery of the possibility of Divine punishment for grievous sins at the time of the Flood, can likewise be used to discredit the idea of the chastisements that Our Lady announced at Fatima if humanity did not convert.
Sacred Scripture says that “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom” (Psalm 110/11:10.) When men lose their fear of God, be it the reverential fear due to His Divine Majesty, or the fear of His justice in this life and the next, they become stupid and come to believe, like the inhabitants of Jerusalem at the time of Prophet Sophonias, that “The Lord will not do good, nor will he do evil” (Sophonias, 1:12.)Inducing to Despair
Finally, the message of the movie, Legion, is one of despair. The film presents no hope for humanity or salvation in face of such a cruel and arbitrary God in Whom one cannot confide.
When man loses hope, he loses the very reason to practice virtue, which is the hope of attaining Heaven, with God’s help. Likewise, when he loses faith in God, he loses the reason to have hope. In fact, hope is based on “our apprehension of God as our supreme supernatural good Whose communication in the beatific vision is to make us happy for all eternity, and also on those Divine attributes such as omnipotence, mercy and fidelity, which unite to exhibit God as our unfailing helper.”
Ridiculing Sacred Things
Someone could object that this is only a movie and therefore should not be taken seriously. However, it is precisely through films, novels, and the theater that blasphemy makes great strides and anti-Catholic ideas are increasingly disseminated. When people do not pay due attention to them, they allow themselves to be influenced by them.
Furthermore, such films go against the Second Commandment which condemns the taking of God’s name in vain – and the ridiculing of holy things: “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that shall take the name of the Lord his God in vain” ( Exodus, 20:7.)
It is deplorable that the Sony Corporation has taken to spreading Legion which, like The Da Vinci Code, ridicules most sacred things.
It is for this reason that The American TFP is protesting to Sony, manifesting our indignation against this new attack upon the Faith.
- “Memorable quotes for (2010) More at IMDbPro,” http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1038686/quotes.
- Cf. “Legion Red Band Trailer, Exclusive Photos and Director Quotes,” Film.
- Cf. http://www.shocktillyoudrop.com/news/interviewsnews.php?id=11277.
- Terri Schwartz, July 28, 2009, “Comic-Con 2009: Adrianne Palicki on Legion,” Blast.
- Ibid. The Douay-Rheims Bible comments: “‘It repented him’… God, who is unchangeable, is not capable of repentance, grief, or any other passion. But these expressions are used to declare the enormity of the sins of men, which was so provoking as to determine their Creator to destroy these his creatures, whom before he had so much favored.” http://www.drbo.org/chapter/01006.htm.
- Delany, J. (1910), “Hope,” The Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. Retrieved January 5, 2010 from New Advent: http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/07465b.htm.
- Cf. http://www.legionmovie.com/?hs308=LGN065; http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo/thedavincicode/index.html.