Sunday, July 22, 2018
Breaking News

Review: 'Legion' is a hypnotic journey into the mind of a lesser-known Marvel mutant

In a world full of deception and falsities, David Haller grasps at any semblance of truth he can find.

Haller, played by leading man Dan Stevens (Downton Abbey, the upcoming Beauty and the Beast), is the anti-hero of FX's new comic book-inspired series Legion. He's a young man who has spent most of his life in and out of mental hospitals and struggling with severe schizophrenia.

But David soon realizes the voices and visions that plague his mind may not be symptoms of his mental illness. In fact, he might not be schizophrenic at all.
Creator Noah Hawley (Fargo) brings the next generation of superhero adaptations to the small screen with Legion. Comic book fans will recognize David as the son of X-Men's Charles Xavier and Gabrielle Haller and will note some of his iconic powers.

But that's where the similarities to the comics end. Legion draws inspiration from the world of X-Men and mutants, rather than directly adapting David's story.

Legion opens with a chunky montage of David growing up as a destructive youth battling inner demons set to The Who's Happy Jack. From there we find him as a medicated, but hyper-alert patient at Clockworks, a psychiatric hospital that, yes, has the same psychedelic style as Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange.

FX

Katie Aselton as David's sister Amy and Dan Stevens as David Haller.

Both Legion and Clockworks are full of trippy vibes and patients clothed in orange track jackets.

David's life at Clockworks is sleep, eat, meds, repeat, with the rest of his time hanging out with chatterbox friend Lenny (Aubrey Plaza, Parks and Recreation), whose mind seems to be pickled by lifelong drug and alcohol abuse.

The calm at Clockworks is upended by the arrival of Syd (Rachel Keller, Fargo), a troubled young woman who loathes to be touched. David is enthralled and asks Syd to be his girlfriend. She, surprisingly, says yes.

FX

Syd (Rachel Keller) and David (Dan Stevens) form a close bond despite Syd's disdain for being touched.

Syd's short stay at Clockworks ends on a catastrophic note with a kiss from David. Without giving too much away, Syd really wasn't kidding when she said she didn't like to be touched.

The first three episodes of the eight-episode first season are a mind-bending riddle that gives viewers a glimpse of what it might be like living with David's affliction.

The things he sees and hears are a warped patchwork of pain and often quite terrifying. It's heartbreaking to see someone struggle so much to try to get a grip on reality.

Luckily, Syd and Melanie Bird (Jean Smart, Fargo) are two tools on his road to recovery. Well, his road to figure out his true potential, that is. Smart plays the unconventional therapist, combining nurturing and empowering traits like that of Professor Dumbledore and Professor X.

Melanie and her team are determined to open David's eyes to the possibility that he's not sick at all, and that his abilities are actually extraordinary powers he's only just learning about. David is so powerful, he's wanted by both Melanie, who wants to help him, and an insidious government agency that sees him as a security threat.

Hawley's interpretation of the character Legion is sheer originality. Viewers will quickly forget they're watching a story first put to paper in 1985 by Chris Claremont and Bill Sienkiewicz.

The story is about a man with superhero powers, but remains beautifully human. David is quickly dubbed as possibly the most powerful mutant in existence, but he doesn't know that yet.

FX's adaptation focuses on David's journey to realizing his full potential rather than the destination of reality-bending Legion.

Contact Chelsea Tatham at [email protected] Follow @chelseatatham.


If you watch

Legion premieres at 10 p.m. Wednesday on FX.

 

Comments
Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Winner and loser of the week in Florida politics

Winner of the week 1Donald Trump. Okay, so our president seemed last week to have more appreciation for Vladimir Putin than U.S. intellgence services. He also showed what a mighty political force he remains for Florida Republicans, with multiple poll...
Updated: 1 hour ago
Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

Rays journal: New faces, same old loss

ST. PETERSBURG — To get a sense of how things are going for the Rays right now, consider that opening day starter Chris Archer was wearing a promotional DJ Kitty head in the dugout and veteran OF Carlos Gomez was playing second base during Satu...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

Kevin Kiermaier frustrated as injuries continue

ST. PETERSBURG — This season has been quite a pain for Rays centerfielder and centerpiece Kevin Kiermaier.A cold bat, a nagging illness, a searing foul ball we'll come back to shortly and a torn thumb ligament that required surgery, all in the ...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Rowdies gain needed victory

Rowdies gain needed victory

ST. PETERSBURG — Georgi Hristov, the Rowdies' all-time goals leader, extended that mark with his 59th and Junior Flemmings had a goal and two assists to lead a revamped lineup in Saturday's 3-1 win over Indy Eleven at Al Lang Stadium in front o...
Updated: 10 hours ago
Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Marlins game

Marc Topkin’s takeaways from Saturday’s Rays-Marlins game

Joey Wendle continues to impress, playing anywhere asked and hitting everywhere. Friday he joined the play-of-the-year race with an amazing glove flip to first. Saturday he was the first Ray with a decent swing off Pablo Lopez, homering in the fourth...
Updated: 11 hours ago
Rays Tales: Sure is a lot to talk about

Rays Tales: Sure is a lot to talk about

WASHINGTON — There was a lot of talk specific to the Rays at the All-Star Game last week, from commissioner Rob Manfred's strong endorsement of the Ybor stadium plan to Wilson Ramos' rousing ovation from the Washington fans to Blake Snell's imp...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome misses cut but has a blast in PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship

Seminole’s Brittany Lincicome misses cut but has a blast in PGA Tour’s Barbasol Championship

Seminole's Brittany Lincicome did not make the cut in her first PGA Tour event, but she did improve by seven shots in her second round.Lincicome shot 1-under 71 on Saturday at the Barbasol Championship in Nicholasville, Ky., after having to wait an e...
Updated: 12 hours ago
Another bad look for Rays in 3-2 loss

Another bad look for Rays in 3-2 loss

ST. PETERSBURG – To get a sense of how shorthanded the Rays were by the final innings of Saturday night's game, all you had to do was look at the field and see Carlos Gomez playing second base.It was that kind of night for the Rays, who lost an...
Published: 07/21/18
Bucs’ Mike Evans donates $11,000 to family of shooting victim

Bucs’ Mike Evans donates $11,000 to family of shooting victim

Turns out Donald Trump wasn't the only person that Bucs receiver Mike Evans reached out to on Twitter on Saturday.The Bucs receiver fired back at the president after a tweet suggesting that NFL players who protest during the national anthem should be...
Published: 07/21/18
Tampa police seek driver in fatal Saturday morning hit and run

Tampa police seek driver in fatal Saturday morning hit and run

Tampa police are looking for a motorist who they say killed a man in an early Saturday morning hit and run.About 2 a.m. Saturday, a 38-year-old man was hit by a car travelling east on the 3600 block of E Columbus Dr. in Tampa, according to a Tampa Po...
Published: 07/21/18