Gabriel
GABRIEL. 2007

Director: Shane Abbess

Reviewed by Paghat the Ratgirl



Fallen angels have infected the Lost City somewhere in Purgatory. Andy Whitfield as the titular hero of Gabriel (2007) descends into the Lost City. He is last of the archangels, though he's not really the last, & must pit himself in human guise against the Fallen.

GabrielThe grim, grimy, perpetually rainy Lost City is presented in doomful, gloomy style, yet is frequently just silly. Acting is varied, from awful to decent. The film struggles something fierce to be marvelous, but seems to have been designed by someone who'd rather be designing video games.

I'm sure the filmmakers, if even aware how big are the film's shortfalls, blame the budget, not themselves. But the problems began with the script & other faults flow from there.

Gun-toting kung fu angels & demons are kind of moronic if only because there's nothing they're doing that required them to be angels & demons. Their kung fu moves are no more supernatural than standard chop-socky nonsensicality. What we end up with is pomposity struggling to be cool when mostly it's inept.

But if you like cheap & cheezy films, as I often do, Gabriel does have a few good breaths in it. For instance, Jade/Amatiel (Samantha Noble) is a female archangel turned hooker to the fallen; not bad. That's sufficiently over-the-top sleeze-o-rama to earn a few kudos. And overall, it cannot be said that the film is just like a lot of other bad films. It's its own thing, & I certainly wouldn't avoid the director's future efforts.

GabrielFor all that it falls short, Gabriel conveys ambition. Still, in final execution, the little bit of good work is dragged down by all the bad.

As examples, when a character like Lilith (Erika Heynatz) or Gabe himself is almost successfully sold by actors who're really trying to get this right, they're undermined by actors to the left, actors to the right, who couldn't convince you their toe hurt if you'd stomped on it yourself.

For example, Sammael (Dwaine Stevenson) played by the gosh darndest most terrible actor in the whole film has the misfortune of doing important scenes in the presence of Uriel (Harry Pavlidis) played by a decent actor. The contrast makes for the sort of mediocre average one expects in a junior college play populated by theater fairies who are excellent in their own imaginations but not on stage.

Most of the archangels actually do survive but have succumbed to fear, & lost most of their powers. Sammael for reasons later rationalized in an alleged plot-twist permits Gabe to wander Lost City & its surrounding environs searching for the decaying archangels.

The twist regarding Sammael is no biggy really, attempting with overwrought dialogue to seem more impressive than it is. With much better actors than these we might've been fooled. With these actors it seems retarded. The worst moments in any one of the three Prophesy movies with Christopher Walken as archangel is more impressive than the best moments in Gabriel.

copyright by Paghat the Ratgirl



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