The God of Legion secular Hollywood’s latest Biblically-inspired action flick is old-school an angry spiteful Almighty with a penchant for Old Testament theatrics. Fed up with humanity’s decadent warmongering ways He’s decided to pull the plug on the whole crazy experiment and start over from scratch.
Fortunately for us the God of Legion is also a rather lazy fellow. Instead of doing the apocalyptic work himself and wiping us out with a giant flood which worked perfectly well last time He opts to delegate the task to His army of angels — a questionable strategy that starts to fall apart when the archangel charged with leading the planned extermination Michael (Paul Bettany) refuses to comply.
Michael who unlike his boss still harbors affection for our sorry species abandons his post and descends to earth where inside the swollen belly of Charlie (Adrianne Palicki) an unwed mother-to-be working as a waitress in an out-of-the-way diner sits humanity’s lone hope for survival. Why is this particular baby so important? Is it the one destined to lead us to victory over Skynet? Heaven knows — Legion reveals little details its script devoid of actual scripture. What is clear is that God’s celestial hitmen want the kid whacked before it’s born.
But Michael won’t let humanity fall without a fight. Armed with a Waco-sized arsenal of assault weapons he hunkers down with the diner’s patrons a largely superfluous collection of thinly-sketched caricatures from various demographic groups led by Dennis Quaid as the diner’s grizzled owner Tyrese Gibson as a hip-hop hustler and Lucas Black as a simple-minded country boy.
Together they mount a heroic final stand against hordes of angels who’ve taken possession of “weak-willed” humans turning kindly old grandmas and mild-mannered ice cream vendors into snarling ravenous foul-mouthed beasts. They descend upon the ramshackle diner in a series of full-frontal assaults commanded by the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand) the George Pickett of End of Days generals.
Beneath its superficial religious facade Legion is really just a run-of-the-mill zombie flick a Biblical I Am Legend. Bettany an actor accustomed to smaller dramatic roles in films like A Beautiful Mind and The Da Vinci Code looks perfectly at ease in his first major action role wielding machine guns and bowie knives with equal aplomb. Conversely first-time director Scott Stewart a former visual effects artist does little to prove himself worthy of such a promotion serving up some impressive CGI work but not much else worthy of note.
Comedic entertainer and character actor Pedro Gonzalez Gonzalez, who appeared in John Wayne films and other movies, has died. He was 80.
Gonzalez Gonzalez died of natural causes at his home Feb. 6, according to his grandson, actor Clifton Collins Jr.
The entertainer began his career at age seven, when his parents pulled him out of school to entertain migrant works and residents in the American south west.
In 1953, he appeared as a contestant on Groucho Marx's TV quiz show You Bet Your Life and his banter with the legendary entertainer stole the show.
John Wayne saw his guest appearance on the show and signed the actor to his production company.
The performer became one of the most recognizable Mexican-American actors, appearing with Wayne in The High and the Mighty, Rio Bravo and Hellfighters.
Gonzalez Gonzalez, whose name was a traditional combination of his mother's and father's identical surnames, is survived by his wife Leandra and three children.
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A group of FBI hopefuls journey to an island on the outer banks of North Carolina for a special training operation. They're sent there to hone their skills under the watchful eye of their ambiguously shady boss Harris (Val Kilmer). Not much is known about Harris but one thing is clear: The apprentices don't trust him. So when things start going fatally awry--with the seemingly uninhabited island turning into an FBI abattoir as the agents are picked off one by one by an unseen assailant--they all think he's the one to blame. But is he? Maybe it's the hotheaded FBI alum Gabe (LL Cool J). Or maybe someone else in the group. Tired and wary the team or at least those who remain begin pointing fingers at one another. Whoever it is time is of the essence literally and figuratively as the clever sociopath (aren't the all?) leaves clues--usually in the form of some time-telling device--to when he'll strike next. The surviving agents all turn vigilant and split up (thus setting the scene for more slayings) except for two of the group members Sara and Lucas (Kathryn Morris and Jonny Lee Miller) who vow to stick together. By the end your head will be spinning--either from the bevy of startling twists or from how such twists probably fell through the cracks in the editing room. Chances are if you would shake your head at the latter you won't be seeing Mindhunters anyway.
While the premise of Mindhunters is similar to TV's Survivor the acting might be a bit better on the hit reality show. Christian Slater--clearly trying to jumpstart a career revival á la John Travolta in Pulp Fiction-- plays as J.D. Reston the dutiful leader of the FBI profilers like a good boy scout while the aforementioned Kilmer plays the Harris as cryptically as only Kilmer can. The odd thing is that two of Mindhunters' biggest stars are reduced to mere cameos which leaves the movie's next-biggest star LL Cool J to carry the movie--and he does a more than adequate job. Of course had the film been released on its scheduled time this might have been LL Cool J's leading-man vehicle but he's been able to achieve that more or less on his own since 2003. The rest of the dead profiles walking consist of journeymen and women: Morris (TV's Cold Case) as the eager Sara; Miller (Hackers) as her comrade in arms; Clifton Collins Jr. (Traffic) as wheelchair-bound Vince; Will Kemp (Van Helsing) as Rafe; and Patricia Velasquez (The Mummy Returns) as Nicole.
Perhaps Mindhunters was doomed from the start. It is invariably a bad sign when a movie comes out two years after the fact. Should the finger be pointed at director Renny Harlin (of um Cutthroat Island fame) then? Not really. It's not his fault--well not entirely--that he hasn't directed anything worthwhile since 1993's Cliffhanger. Harlin clearly does know how to guide a rather straightforward action-thriller and Mindhunters is no exception. He conjures up legitimate scares and makes the most of a seemingly anemic script. No the colossal Disney-Miramax rift is probably more to blame for Mindhunters' extreme delay and the negative buzz. Coupled with the fact that the script by Wayne Kramer and Kevin Brodbin--with its outlandish implausibilities--turns a potential summer blockbuster that is meant be a psychological thriller into psychobabble. Harlin's skill is evident in Mindhunters and therefore he should be spared--this time.