Fallen Review

by "Michael J. Legeros" (legeros AT pagesz DOT net)
February 4th, 1998

Fallen (1998)

    A movie review by Michael J. Legeros
    Copyright 1998 by Michael J. Legeros

Directed by Gregory Hoblit
Written by Nicholas Kazan
Cast Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Embeth Davidtz, James Gandolfini, Elias Koteas MPAA Rating "R" (presumably for violence and profanity) Running Time 123 minutes
Reviewed at The Morehead City 1-2-3, Morehead City, NC (24JAN98)

    Denzel Washington stars in this run-of-the-mill religious thriller, as a Philly police detective stalked by the spirit of a serial killer that he once put away and who was only recently executed. The catch? Well, there are a couple: Casper the Unfriendly Ghost can occupy almost any ol' human host *and* he can pass himself from one person to the next, simply by touch. Now, although our hero doesn't catch on for at least an hour, *we* are shown the whole possession process from the get- go. And that's a grave mistake, 'cause it leaves the story with nowhere else to go. A better script, I suppose, would kick right into over- drive, aiming for the sort of over-the-top territory that THE DEVIL'S ADVOCATE did so well. Or, maybe, it would go in the other direction, descending into, say, a clever character study or detailed police pro- cedural. Alas, what Nicholas Kazan's screenplay *does* do is just schlepp along, with a little bit of mystery here, a little bit of sus- pense there, and a whole lot of missed opportunities everywhere else. Though well-acted and handsomely produced, FALLEN fails in the most fun- damental of ways: it doesn't compel you to keep watching. (Mom and I left after an hour.) With Donald Sutherland, James Gandolfini, Embeth Davidtz, Elias Koteas, and looking dangerously close to a coronary, John Goodman. Directed by Gregory Hoblit (PRIMAL FEAR).

    Grade: W/O

Mike Legeros - Movie Hell

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