Buena Vista/Buena Vista .
R4 . COLOR . 81 mins .
MA15+ . PAL
My expectations were high after the entertainment I found in The Prophecy. I hoped against hope that number two wouldnít be yet another sequel to succumb to the lure of a quickie heartless cash-in by a talentless director with no budget to speak of.
Naturally, thatís exactly what it is. Boy, do I feel silly.
Walken liked to stand in the director's street and just watch his family for inspiration.
This time, the good angels who like us Ďmonkeysí plan to impregnate a woman so that her offspring will be a Ďnephalimí they can use in their battle against the bad angels. What exactly this nephalim will bring to the table I donít know, but in an overlong expository sequence involving the returning character of a coroner (Steve Hytner), he discovers it had happened before and resulted in something to do with the great flood and Noahís Ark. Maybe that means he can control water, and if so, this definitely put him at an advantage if God decided to settle all the problems between the warring angels with a pool party. Heíd just have to execute a perfect dive bomb then drain all the water out of the pool when it was a bad angels turn.
I'm gonna... KILL... you know, the GUY. Who made my coffee. The f*ck, I feel. So... sick.
The film barely manages to limp along on what it thinks is a strong story, but is really just a few threads barely managing to hang together in a coherent and interesting fashion. The initial liaison between the angel Danyael and the human woman (Jennifer Beals) is laughably brief in that from the time she first meets him (he falls from the sky and she hits him with her car!) and they saddle up for the old horizontal pony ride looks to happen over the space of a single day. Do women really fall for guys that quick? Angel or not, I always thought you had to wait for at least the second date before bumping uglies. And even then it cost you at least a Pizza Hut dinner and a few beers. Maybe times have changed, maybe Iím just more of a gentleman than your average person, but this seemed a little ludicrous.
Following this event the remainder of the film is nothing more than getting the woman hidden until Gabriel (Christopher Walken) once again locates her and tries to claim the nephalim brewing inside her as his own.
The film plays for about as long as it took you to read this review, and the shortcuts show all the way through. They rehash a bit of footage from the first film which looks glaringly obvious, and they donít have a strong enough human character. Beals just doesnít cut the mustard as someone who we give a damn about. Hagget from the first film at least looked like he suffered some hardship and genuinely carried the weight of his loss of faith. Beals is a slut who carries the potential savior of mankind after rooting an angel. Why should we care about her?
And thatís the whole problem. We donít. We might have only thought about it in the first film, but this time we want to the bad angels to win and mankind to be doomed. Iím sure thatís not what they were aiming for.
This DVD houses a marginally improved image, framed at 1.85:1 with 16:9 enhancement, but it is still lumbered with most of the negatives from the first DVDís picture. The detail rates a little higher, visible across most of the film in resolving finer aspects such as facial features and textures in clothing but itís still rather low compared to recent film and even the better done older films. Shadows are also still very heavy, but at least these carry a bit more visible detail to add some extra depth to the picture.
The sound is fine, dialogue again is good, certainly more so than the first film. But I thought that far too many possibilities were missed. A perfect example is a building thunderstorm in chapter four. This sits dully in the front channels and neglects the rears, not aiding in drawing the viewer into the picture at all. This film (and probably the others) could have been served just as easily with a Dolby Digital 2.0 mix, or even a standard stereo one to be honest.