Buena Vista/Buena Vista .
R4 . COLOR . 81 mins .
MA15+ . PAL
By now, the series has become no more than one long thrill-free chase. With a constant echoing of the Terminator theme punctuating the action (if you can call it that), this movie is trying not very hard to stand on its own two legs.
Walken liked to use an old fashioned horn in his car.
The plot is tired now, with the element of ‘discovery’ sorely missing. You know the setup, you know the drill, so they just have to pencil in a new set of actors, a new list of angels, and a new destination to get to in order to save mankind from… something. Oh yeah, it’s to save mankind from genocide. That’s right. Now, instead of being more or less about the battle between good and bad angels in Heaven for the right of place at God’s side, the focus has shifted to wanting to wipe out the human race so as to stop us polluting the clean air up there. Or, as I usually say about now, something like that.
Except, the last paragraph is kinda wrong, because the battle is still between good and bad angels with some minor involvement by humans, but now the bad ones have made it clear that they really seriously don’t like us ‘monkeys’ much at all and want us wiped out entirely. The whole ‘genocide’ bit is just a way for the scriptwriters to make the whole shebang feel a little fresh after the stale 60 minutes that has passed us by.
I guess some mention must be made of the fact that the nephalim child born in the end of the second film is now a teenager preaching against God when he cops a few bullets in the chest and goes down for the count. You’ll be one step ahead of the mere mortals in this film and realise that some lead can’t keep a good angel/human hybrid freakazoid down for long. Soon he’s up and about again and back on to the path of discovering his destiny in this story is to showdown with supreme bad angel Pyriel.
Mariah Carey had finally lost the plot totally and turned herself into Christopher Walken.
When the final showdown finally comes between Danyael and Pyriel, it’s a huge letdown. Pyriel, he’s known as the “next God”, looks like Daniel Johns from Silverchair, and fights like him too. For a bad-arse who helped throw Lucifer from heaven, he’s turned into a bit of a sissy lipstick wearing ponce. This is the guy we’ve been told to fear throughout the film? F*ck, I was more scared of my high school English teacher, Mr. Kemp. That dude was a great teacher, a smart man, but bugger me could he scare the shit out of the kids when he got mad. His face would contort, and he’d turn red, and he was a tall sucker too with a long head, so the total effect made you wish you were paying attention when he was trying to teach you the difference between punctuation and eating chalk.
They should have cast Mr. Kemp as Pyriel, he would have kicked Danyael’s butt for spelling his name so badly, then he would have given the entire human race detention for life and called up all our parents for a discussion on our academic future before taking over Heaven.
Well, if not for anything else, then at least this DVD scores the most points for having the best looking picture of the bunch. Detail has ramped up a few notches, there’s far better definition across the contrast range with better resolution in the darker areas, and less grain than either of the two previous efforts. It’s really kind of a shame then that the film looks like it was badly filmed technically, with really amateurish camerawork that smacks of trying too hard and shoddy editing.
The audio also ranks as the best of the bunch, but as you’ve read that’s also not really a great compliment truth be told seeing as how the others weren’t that great anyway, merely functional at best. Lacking impact, the design doesn’t rise above its made for television looks, even if it is crystal clear. At least the LFE is given some proper work to do in aiding the impact of scenes as required.
A sad finish to what should have been, or at least could have been, a much better complete series of films dealing with an interesting subject. I think when you’ve worked your way down the list of affordable actors and you come up with Vincent Spano, you know the end is here. It’s just a shame that they didn’t use this to their advantage and get all freaked out on us with a darker and edgier, preferably more grand spectacle that took us out with a bang rather than a dull whimper.
For fans of the series, rest assured that it seems it’s not quite over yet, with imdb.com listing Prophecy 4: Revelation as in production, so hopefully there’s a chance for a final quality blowout yet. Unfortunately, it looks like Christopher Walken won’t be returning to his role as Gabriel, so perhaps that could be considered a portent of doom.