Catholic League president Bill Donohue looks at Hollywood’s treatment of the apocalypse in “The Book of Eli” and “Legion”; the former opens January 15, and the latter a week later:

By all accounts, “The Book of Eli” puts a positive spin on Christianity. The lead character, Eli, is played by Denzel Washington. Following a nuclear war which destroyed all copies of the Bible, save for the one in his possession, Eli is determined to get the last copy on the planet to a place directed by God; previous religious conflict destroyed all copies of the Torah and Koran. To be successful, Eli must keep the Bible away from a reigning tyrant who is hell bent on getting his hands on it so he can twist biblical teachings to suit his interests.

By all accounts, “Legion” puts a negative spin on Christianity. It features Michael the Archangel crashing down from the heavens to save the unborn child of a Virgin Mary-like character, a waitress who is anything but virginal. Indeed, actress Adrianne Palicki plays such a loose character that she said in an interview, “Who didn’t I have sex with in the movie?” No matter, the film suggests God is the father of her Jesus-like messiah child. The entire story takes place on Christmas eve.

Both movies are violent, and both scripts seize on the apocalypse. But that’s where the similarities end. It is telling that Sony is responsible for the film that is not exactly Christian-friendly (Warner Bros. is releasing “The Book of Eli”). Sony, of course, gave us “The Da Vinci Code” and “Angels & Demons,” so it knows how to tweak Christian sensibilities. It is so fitting that “Legion,” which promises to be an abortion of a movie, is opening on January 22, the 37th anniversary of the infamous Roe v. Wade decision.

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