A diner in the middle of nowhere becomes the focal point of a supernatural battle to save humanity from God's wrath.
So this is supernatural apocalyptic fantasy thrillette (well, supposed to be thriller, but more like thriller-lite).
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Charles S Dutton, Lucas Black, that creepy albino from The Da Vinci Code (Paul Bettany) and Kevin Durand (aka Keamy from Lost) and some chick I don't recognize.
Cast - you have Diner Owner (DO), Diner Owner's Son (DOS), Spiritual one-handed cook (SOHC), pregnant by absent father waitress (PBAFW), upper middle class family (father, mother, slutty bad-girl daughter) whose car broke down in the middle of nowhere and cant be fixed without computers (UMCD, UMCM, UMCSBGD), random armed black gangsta-lookin dude carrying a .45 stopping to use the phone 'cause his cell phone died (RABGD). Angels show up later.
Or - to sum it up - a cast of cardboard stereotypes danced around on marionette strings despite the best efforts of the acting cast.
Setting: Diner/Gas Station in the middle of nowhere. I think that the DO, DOS, SOHC and PBAFW live in trailers behind the place or something. I can't imagine commuting 70+ miles every day to work in the middle of nowhere at a shithole that is on a highway probably bypassed by an interstate and gets maybe 5 patrons a day.
DOS is in love with PBAFW, PBAFW won't give DOS anything more than smiles and platitudes. UMCM is bitchy about being stuck in a shithole after the car breaks and how UMCSBGD dresses, UMCD tries to be diplomatic. RABGD just wants to make his damn phone call, UMCSBGD makes eyes at RABGD 'cause she knows it makes UMCM upset.
Problem: The waitress (PBAFW) is pregnant with a child that, if killed before it's born will doom humanity because God is mad and he's gonna wipe out humans again. So God has lesser angels possess weak-minded people to drive out to the diner and kill the baby. If the child is born alive, then God's plan to wipe out humanity is stymied and God will have to send Gabriel down to do the deed. BUT -- the angel Michael thinks God is wrong so Michael cuts off his own wings, robs an armory, steals an LAPD cop car and drives out to the diner to save the baby. Yep - Michael is gonna go against God's wishes. I wonder if he asked Lucifer how that all works out.
A real modern apocalyptic supernatural thrillette.
The key to watching this: sit back and watch it. Then it's an entertaining Friday nite popcorn flick.
Sit back and enjoy the violence and special effects and creepy shit when it does happen.
Don't ask for much from the bits between the violence and special effects and creepy shit.
Don't ask questions.
Don't question the supernatural goal, why one baby is the key to everything.
Don't ask why in the hell those four people live at a diner in the middle of nowhere. Don't ask why people don't react to horrific events with a little more emotion than maybe screaming at the moment, then being abnormally calmer about it all a little later.
Don't ask why God decides the best plan of action is to have lesser angels possess weak minded people to carry out his abortion plans, when he sends earthquakes to punish Haiti for making deals with the devil hundreds of years ago, or earthquakes to punish people for allowing women to dress provocatively (Boobquake Shoutout), or sends hurricanes against cities that have been centers of sin and debauchery for hundreds of years, or why he sends tornadoes to drop the roofs of churches on top of his worshipers during sunday services. Why doesn't the angry fist of god just smite her dead? Or blink her and all humanity out of existence now that he's tired of humanity's collective bullshit? I guess because he wants to be old testament god and make people suffer so they understand his displeasure before he wipes them all out. Well, I guess that's Revelations new testament-y god too.
Tell ya what, though. Kevin Durand makes an awesome Gabriel and he kicks serious ass. And the actor is asked to emote a lot more than previous roles have demanded from him. And he does great. Probably one of the best performances from him I've seen to date. His fight scene against Michael was pretty cool too. The movie is almost worth watching for those bits alone. Well, those bits and all the other violence bits. Don't watch the movie for its depth.
So - this gets an average on entertainment scale, slightly higher if you like supernatural apocalyptic fantasy involving a whole TWO of the countless angels at God's disposal with the fate of humanity hanging in the balance.
Lesson learned: Don't bring automatic weapons to an angel fight. Swords and Maces are more effective.
(original post 29 Aug 2010)
Edit: I just watched this one again. And yeah, it didn't change my mind on anything. Starts out pretty good, then steadily decays as the movie plays out. But that fight between Gabriel and Michael is still damn cool and Kevin Durand's performance is still impressive.