Going out with a Bang

I found myself staring at a poster of Legion a few months ago, fascinated and curious as to what the movie would offer to the public this time.

When the last angel falls, the fight for mankind begins.

The catchphrase itself was enough to make anyone feel the way I did back then. Another apocalyptic movie, I remember telling myself, but the concept seemed different from most movies with the same theme I've seen. No comets making a deep impact, no disasters caused by global warming, no infected humans trying to infect others by biting them. Just God's pure, unadulterated wrath inflicted upon the human race that had sinned so much. Even I was getting tired of watching Resident Evil rip-offs, viruses and zombies and gun fights all around. Then of course, after seeing Legion, I was more than disappointed at the execution of the premise but that's another story to tell.

Apocalyptic movies are more often than not centered on what the planet would be after Doomsday and how we humans would adapt to a drastic change in lifestyle. These vivid portrayals represent that side of human beings which anticipates the coming of that day when a falling meteor, a great flood or a viral plague would wipe us out from the face of the earth. These clearly express mortality: that life is short and fragile and one terrible disaster could cut off the connection we have with the planet.

Like I said, movies like this would center on how we would adapt to that new world the disaster would create. But they always have a twin story to tell aside from that of doom and gloom: that of humans being tenacious, resourceful creatures. That whatever may be thrown at us we can rise to meet it with our own arsenal. Survival. It was always the one thing we're good at, it would seem.

But as the movie would near its climax - in Legion, it was when the baby Messiah was born on the dirty floor of a diner - there would always be this one more weapon up our sleeve that would ensure the human race's survivability rate, whether it's in the form of an incarnation of the Messiah as a child, a vaccine that would eliminate the virus completely, or a state-of-the-art Noah's Ark made of the strongest alloy in the world. It would represent salvation or hope that would give strength and will to live to the rest of the world that had withstood the wrath of God. And from here on then, life simply goes on. We rebuild our homes, figure out our new world and soon go back to our old routine of surviving just the day.

This ending somehow reminds me of that episode of Doctor Who where the main characters watched the Earth's fiery death from the safety of a space station - another Doomsday scenario, with the Sun expanding and turning into a red giant and consequently swallowing the inner solar system billions of years later. "You spend all your time thinking about dying, like you're going to get killed by eggs, or beef, or global warming, or asteroids. But you never take time to imagine the impossible: that maybe you'll survive."