Who? Paul Bettany (strong-silent), Dennis Quaid (boring), Lucas Black (hick), Tyrese Gibson (packin’ heat), Charles S. Dutton (hook), Willa Holland (jailbait)
What’s it about? Ever heard the word apocalypse? Of course you have, it’s been done again and again in stories since before the man-who-built-crosses-and-died-on-one came to straighten all that smiting God stuff out. But once again God is smiting and this time he’s sent his angels to take over human bodies and attempt to kill a young pregnant girl’s unborn child. Angel, Michael (Bettany), doesn’t agree and falls from Heaven, cutting off his own wings to protect the child and, therefore, humanity. It’s then more or less a zombie film without the tension, gore or originality.
What’s good about it? The CGI is great with angelic winged battles, lots of big guns blowing stuff up, and a scary demonic person or two. Willa Holland (who was Kaitlin in The O.C.) takes care of the eye candy in a bit-too-skinny-but-pretty kind of way. Bettany does his best and pulls off a convincing angelic performance, providing the most engaging monologues of the film… most would say, carrying the film.
What’s bad about it? The storyline has more holes than the extremely holy angel Gabriel himself… who is not the good guy in this film. This is part of the big problem. God is effectively bad (you could argue he had it all planned from the start, but then all that death makes him still pretty bad) which means Christians won’t like feeling their God is evil, while atheists and agnostics will simply be pissed off by all the cheap faith-is-good dialogue. So both sides of the audience are being let down immediately. Good start.
The performances aren’t terrible - in fairness to the actors - just the dialogue is boring and obvious, leaving you not really caring if anyone lives or dies. In fact, you long for the deaths just so that some action can end the cheesy talk and get the plot to take a turn, any turn. Why the child is special never gets explained. The fact they're killing lots of innocent possessed people is ignored. The biblical plague of locust, boils on a body and, er, zombies are cheap and irrelevant to the already weak plot.
Verdict: If you like biblical tales and fancy a bit of action mixed with angelic references this will be worth a rental. The main message is, have faith. But be warned, this film will test yours.