Hollywood Angelology

I probably shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.

Last fall I saw a trailer for a new movie that’s coming out next week called Legion, in which Michael the archangel defends humanity against the armies of (good?) angels which God has sent to wipe out humanity. Here’s the plot summary from Wikipedia:

“After God loses faith in humanity, the archangel Michael (Paul Bettany), who has become a fallen angel, is the only one standing between mankind and Armageddon. This time using angels to execute the Last Judgment, God’s wrath descends on Earth to exterminate the world’s population. In a desperate, last-chance gambit, Michael leads a group of strangers to a small New Mexico diner to protect a young waitress who may be pregnant with Christ in his second coming.”

I’m just dumbfounded by the complete inversion of reality here. Michael is, I guess, a fallen angel, but he’s fighting for humanity against God. And God wants to wipe out humanity, but Jesus is about to be born again??? If you watch the trailer (or the even worse, R-rated extended version), you’ll see how God’s angels (the good angels? Or are they bad?) are portrayed in a manner I’d describe as demonic, certainly not angelic. And I haven’t even mentioned the fact that you can kill these angels (who scurry up walls and along ceilings, and whose arms and jaws extend unnaturally) with a shotgun blast. Because they have bodies, you know.

I guess having humanity fight demons is too cliche, so Hollywood had to develop this little twist, but it’s so ridiculous! As I said, I know I shouldn’t be surprised, but I am.

33 Responses to Hollywood Angelology

  • The movie looks demonic.

  • That pretty much eliminates this film for my viewing enjoyment.

    I’ll be watching A Man for All Seasons instead.

    Can I assume that the title of the movie is in reference to the demon Legion in the Holy Gospel of Saint Mark 5:9?

    And he asked him: What is thy name? And he saith to him: My name is Legion, for we are many.

  • Hollywood’s hatred for God is unlimited.

  • I’m going to reserve judgment until I see it. Maybe there’s some crazy plot twists and it turns out to be a good Christian film.

  • RR,

    Paul Bettany also starred as the Opus Dei albino monk assassin.

    Is there a pattern that I am detecting of this English actor?

  • I doubt it. These people absolutely hate God, and they admire Satan for rebelling against him – whether they see that as a reality or a myth, that is who and what they identify with.

  • Some people have pointed out that “the fallen angel” supporting his own messiah sounds like “making the audience root for the anti-Christ.” We have come to this.

  • Here’s a good quote:

    “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?”

    http://www.fusedfilm.com/2009/08/geekgasm-legion-who-are-the-good-guys-again/

  • As an aside, I’ve considered all the light-porn angels we see, such as in Victoria’s Secret ads, are good evidence for existence of the succubus…

  • HK,

    light-porn angels we see, such as in Victoria’s Secret ads, are good evidence for existence of the succubus

    Good catch on that one. I’m sure Victoria Secret won’t like that bit of info.

  • It also says,

    “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.”

    Yes, this is exactly what they want. They’ve been doing it through music for decades, and subtly through film, but now it is out in the open. It is out in the open because they know that now most people either agree with, or are indifferent to, their message – and that even the people who see it for what it is and are appalled by it will do absolutely nothing about it.

    They aren’t just mocking Christianity. They’re spitting in our faces. And there will be millions of fans of this, who have been prepared now for a generation to hate Christianity and above all the Catholic Church.

    I could say a lot more, but I’ll leave it at that.

  • Joe,

    I agree wholeheartedly.

    I could say a lot more, but I’ll leave it at that.

    That would be good for another post don’t you think?

    ;)

  • “As an aside, I’ve considered all the light-porn angels we see, such as in Victoria’s Secret ads are good evidence for existence of the succubus…”

    agreed

  • Similar themes have been popular in video games for years, though that’s probably due to historical anti-Christian prejudice in Japanese culture.

  • Why would God try to prevent the second coming of Himself? Seems like a plot point thats either going to end up with a lame explanation or be completely ignored… which is what I’ll be doing to this movie.

  • Tito, the funny thing is, Bettany also played the Catholic doctor Stephen Maturin in Master and Commander with Russell Crowe.

    This story tilts as so very many windmills. The portrayal of God is obviously not a Christian one… what happened to the “for God so loved the world” stuff? What seems at least implied is the standard, superficial-yet-common view of God: angry, vengeful, ready to get medieval on your… you know what. (To be honest, I think many Christians have this view of the Father!) To apply Sheen’s famous remark about the Church more generally… there are many who oppose Christianity, but only a few of them really understand that which they are opposing.

  • “The portrayal of God is obviously not a Christian one…”

    That really depends. I believe the makers of this film fully intend for the audience to accept in their minds that this is the one God, the God of Jews, Christians, Muslims and assorted sects and cults, the God that has been called “Yaweh” and “Jehova.”

    By virtue of what they propose God is doing, no, is not our God. But that isn’t the point. The harm will be done regardless. Movies such as this are both caused by, and contribute to, the moral, spiritual and intellectual degeneracy of our time. I believe this movie has been created to give the open and violent enemies of God, and the open admirers of Satan, something to salivate over. It is a celebration of rebellion against the one true God, who it turns out was a mean guy all along – don’t you see, that Satan guy had the right idea.

    It would be a grave and foolish mistake – and I don’t accuse you or anyone else here of this, mind you – to shrug this off, or get a laugh out of it. At no point in Scripture did God find blasphemy amusing, at no point has the Church found it amusing. It is always something to be taken with the utmost seriousness.

    Finally, I do believe that God is capable of anger, vengeance, and “getting medieval” – but also, as we know, of infinite mercy and love. These are not mutual exclusives. Only to modern man have they become so.

  • Annoys me that 1) it would be *easy* to make this movie OK with at least shallow Christian mythos and 2) they are STILL making everything look like the CGI of The Mummy.

    Lazy.

    To both.

  • One could, in theory, say this is a Gnostic film, and that would be why “God” would oppose the second coming, but it really feels more as if it is an Antichrist film

  • Henry, I thought the same thing initially, but there is no “salvation through esoteric knowledge” theme… then I thought it was simply Manichaean or an even more basic dualism… then I concluded that I was giving the screenwriter et al. *far* too much credit and that the story is too superficial to merit too close a philosophical analysis.

    Joe, I appreciate your comments; I’m certainly not laughing the movie off… as I noted in the OP, I was dumbfounded by the premises. And I agree that God is capable of something analogous to anger… my concern is that we are once again seeing an implicit dichotomy between the OT and NT: the God who seeks to wipe out humanity reminds people — naturally — of the God of the flood, but far too many people fail to realize that the God of the OT is a God of mercy & love… we didn’t have to wait until Jesus to find that out! If you read the Psalms, Hosea or even “boring” Deuteronomy God’s love for His people is apparent and obvious. One of my many concerns about this film is that it will reinforce that false stereotype, even for those who see the more obvious errors in the storyline.

  • I think it hilarious that the new Messiah is discovered in a diner in New Mexico. Does anyone have an idea of which diner in which town?

    There is a level of absurdity which is too far out to criticize or to make mock of.

  • IIRC from the trailer, the town’s sign indicates that it’s named “Paradise”.

    Uh-huh.

  • Chris,

    I thought there could be a sense of inspiration from Pullman going on here, which would both allow for Gnosticism, and allow for the scriptwriter to include it without knowing what he/she is doing.

  • “I think it hilarious that the new Messiah is discovered in a diner in New Mexico.”

    Is his first line “Can I finish my waffle?”

  • I think it hilarious that the new Messiah is discovered in a diner in New Mexico.

    So much for returning in glory.

  • well, Hollywood has hit a new low, really low. They must be getting very desparate at trying to shock us. We all need to write a letter-to-the-editor of our local news papers urging christians, jews and muslims not to spend one dime on this movie that encourages us to rebel against God and side with fallen angels who are supposedly sticking up for us. Sure…thats going to happen.

  • Given the many *fake* “Christian protests” that have gone down, we don’t want to do that.

    Perhaps, more effectively, we could tell a better story?

  • i just saw the movie last night, and the angels certainly did look demonic, and with the due consideration that they “possessed” human bodies in order to take out the “new messiah”… well, at least it explains why they can be killed, i guess. the archangel gabriel is sent to actually kill the baby, which bothered me more than almost anything else in the plot line. the movie itself was cheesy and didn’t give any regard to the actual biblical stories, one that it even references. i was still resting under the impression that God has promised that He will never kill his children off again.

    but in the end, He is supposed to have come to his senses because of saint michael and realized that humanity is still good and He still loves them, so i suppose it has a happy ending after all.

  • also, i feel it important to add that the angels who possessed aforementioned bodies came with flies, which was, i was always taught, a sign or demons/satan. this is just a bad movie based shallowly on the end of days, with a few out-of-context biblical references and some “get your life straight” lines sprinkled in.

    overall… i wouldn’t give it much more thought than given to constantine or any number of movies fitting the same motif.

  • Emma,

    Thanks for the update! Interesting ending as you said.

    Chris B.,

    Tito, the funny thing is, Bettany also played the Catholic doctor Stephen Maturin in Master and Commander with Russell Cr

    Stephen played a cynical character that doubted and questioned tradition. His only saving character trait was that he helped secure the capture of the French frigate while disregarding his selfish impulse of continuing his naturalist research.

  • Finally saw it. I don’t think it was really anti-Christian. Despite the premise, religion doesn’t feature prominently. You’d think there’d at least be some religious imagery. Nothing. It must’ve been one of the dumbest movies I’ve ever seen. There’s so many holes in the story you wonder if the writers even thought this through. Watched it with my mother who was laughing. It’s that ridiculous.

  • Better than Hollywood angelology, or even the new novel Angelology, is a true life story of a musician and a life with angels and their teachings for the world today.

    See it at Amazon. Angels on My Stage: The True Story of Eddie Benitez

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