Fallen Reviewby Ben Hoffman (bhoffman AT ix DOT netcom DOT com)
January 29th, 1998
Supernatural films all have the same problem, that of making the story seem reasonable. That is quite a challenge. Unfortunately, about the only thing that would make an audience believe FALLEN is that the personable Denzel Washington is the star. He is Detective John Hobbes in an unnamed city (but filmed in
Detective Hobbes had witnessed the execution of killer Edgar Reese (Elias Koteas). It is odd that the ever-observant detective (as he himself tells us in a voice over) did not think it strange that Reese seemed to take the impending execution very calmly, even singing "Time Is On My Side" as he is about to be gassed.
Shortly thereafter there occurs a series of murders which although having all the earmarks of Reese's style, are nevertheless the apparent work of other killers. It is Hobbes' assignment to find out what is happening and to put an end to it. Easier said than done as Hobbes ponders whether these are copycat murderers or perhaps something more strange. To help him, he seeks the advice of Greta Milano (Embeth Davitz) who is a professor of theology, well versed in the supernatural. It is she who tells Hobbes that he is dealing with Azazel, an angel who has fallen from grace but who has the ability by a mere touch to invade a person's body. In fact we see him walking along the street, touching people apparently at random as he moves from one human to another.. While it is shown that Azazel is out to get Hobbes, we are never quite told why Hobbes himself appears to be immune to invasion of his body.
The film's ending does provide some surprises but by that time it is too late to be saved.
The supporting cast helps the film but only to a degree. Jonesy (John Goodman) is Hobbes' partner. Donald Sutherland is Lieutenant Stanton in the police department. Lou (James Gandolfini) is the sneaky-looking detective. But all are to no avail.
Directed by Gregory Hoblit
4 Bytes = Superb
3 Bytes = Too good to miss
2 Bytes = Average
1 Byte = Save your money
Copyright 1998 Ben Hoffman
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