Fallen Review

by Tim Voon (stirling AT netlink DOT com DOT au)
March 23rd, 1998

    A film review by Timothy Voon
    Copyright 1998 Timothy Voon
    4 :-( :-( :-( :-( for the angel from hell

Cast: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Embeth Davidtz, James Gandolfini, Elias Koteas
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Screenplay: Nicholas Kazan

How does one catch a serial killer that is able to possess and transfer itself from one human host to the next? I’m referring to evil spirits, also known as fallen angels. In particular one called Azazel, a close relative of Beezelbub who did so much body hopping during the movie it gave me a blooming headache!

This movie presumes that serial killers are the way they are because of possession by evil spirits. These spirits are supposedly able to take complete control of man, causing them to do wicked things. Can you imagine the legalities in the law court – ‘Sorry Your Honour, I didn’t mean to murder the boss, my brother, the school teacher or his lover. It’s just that an evil spirit called Azazel made me do it.’ Even if evil spirits did exist, this version is totally unbiblical – taking away any human responsibility for murder and making it in to some fancy Hollywood concept for cheap thrills. I don’t buy it.

This movie is a poor choice for Denzel Washington, a fine actor and regular Church-goer. I find it surprising that he would condone such nonsense – not the fact that spirits exist, but the fact they go body hopping at a whim, causing good people to do evil things. John Goodman is a steady co-star in any movie and helps lend a hand to deliver a slow and thoughtless script. FALLEN is so full of superstitious mumbo-jumbo that the words ‘Acracadabra’ and ‘Open Sesame’ should have been regular quotes. It is a relief to see that Donald Sutherland doesn’t play another sinister bad guy, one of his more recent entrapments.

I have little else pleasant to say about this way over the top rendition of an over regurgitated serial killer franchise.

Timothy Voon
e-mail: [email protected]
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