Friday, December 25, 2009
Don't Go See This Movie!
I experienced this at Comic-Con when I witnessed a trailer for the upcoming movie Legion; a movie which uses the Christian worldview as the template upon which to tell its story. The general concept of the movie is that God has decided that humanity is beyond redemption and the slate needs to be wiped completely clean, the only hitch being that His top angel, Michael, disagrees. He would like to give mankind another chance. The way he sees fit to do this is to sever his connection to God and seek out a woman pregnant with child only referred to as “humanity’s last hope.” God responds by sending all of the angels of heaven to kill this woman and child…and Michael if he gets in the way.
Where to begin…. First off, let it sink in that in this movie, God is the bad guy. Blatantly so. Now I don’t want to veer off on too big of a tangent about what that says about the state of American culture, but it can’t be considered a positive development that “God as the villain” is the theme of a major studio release and it is hardly making a ripple in society at large. But I’m more bothered by something else: who the good guy is. Within the Christian context the movie has as its setting, the one who opposes God is Satan, a character who seems to be missing in this movie…or is he? In case you are not familiar with the back story of the Prince of Darkness, here is a brief rundown: he was originally Lucifer, the Angel of Light. Grand Pooh Bah of the Angels. There came a time when he decided that he wanted to be God and God threw him and the third of the angels who sided with him out of heaven, leaving Michael as the ranking angel. So, the movie correctly asserts the primacy of Michael among the angels but then it has him rebel against God. Hmmm. So the screenplay calls for no Satan to be present, then it has Michael essentially play the role of Satan with a different name. Got it.
Next is the concept of the Messiah. In the Christian worldview the Messiah has already come in the person of Jesus Christ. Anyone else coming along laying claim to the title “Messiah” would have to be considered the Antichrist. In some of the publicity for the film I have even heard this “hope” child referred to as the Messiah, but even if he weren’t directly called it, that is clearly the inference. So, we have a movie where the audience is asked to root for Satan as he tries to protect the Antichrist from being killed by God. Nice.
On top of everything else there is the issue with the name of the film. When Jesus confronted the Gaderene Demoniac Jesus asked the demons what their name was and they responded, “Legion, for we are many.” “Legion” is the name of demons (fallen angels, bad guys) and yet in this context it appears to be referring to the numbers of angels sent by God to kill the Antichrist.
So, it would appear that just about everything in this movie in relation to the Christian worldview upon which it is supposed to be based has been turned on its head. Now I understand that the producers are trying to spin this as a re-telling of the Old Testament Flood narrative with God giving up on mankind and effectively hitting the reset button, but in no way was God ever depicted as the bad guy in that scenario, so that analogy doesn’t hold up. This treatment of this worldview betrays either an unfamiliarity with the subject matter or an utter disdain for it. At this point one might think it would be time to ask what this says about the folks behind the production of this film, but there is something else that concerns me greater. Similar treatment of the Star Wars or Star Trek universes by a director would stir up a firestorm across the blogosphere the likes of which we have never seen. Yet in this case there is mostly silence. So, what does that say about us?
I just saw the trailer for a movie coming out in January called Legion. The premise of the movie is that God is sick of humans and sends His angels to Earth to kill mankind's savior who is still in his mother's womb. The only one who can help the humans against God's monstrous servants is the fallen Archangel Michael.
Okay, normally I am not offended by movies because I think it's a waste of my energy to care, but I think this is incredibly offensive. They've flipped the universe upside down: God is the bad guy (!), Gabriel and the other angels are monsters, Michael is a fallen angel, and Jesus is not our savior.
I just wanted to rant about this. Don't get dragged into seeing it. The frustrating thing for me is seeing commentary from Christians who don't mind the premise because "it's just fiction." Blasphemy is blasphemy in whatever form it takes.