The Prophecy II
directed by Greg Spence
(Buena Vista, 1998)

A lot of what made 1995's The Prophecy so good was lacking in the first of two straight-to-video sequels.

Christopher Walken is back as the fallen archangel Gabriel, curiously expelled from Hell because, apparently, Lucifer didn't like having him there. Now resurrected, he continues his vendetta against mankind, striving to rekindle God's love for angels by wiping out those "talking monkeys" who stand in His favor.

This time around, the loyal angels are trying to create a powerful ally -- the strength of an angel, the free will of a mortal -- through a union between the angel Danyael (Russell Wong) and a hapless mortal nurse, Valerie Rosales (Jennifer Beals). Gabriel stomps around trying to find Valerie and stop the birth; apparently, it occurs to no one that there are a lot of angels and a lot of mortal women, so the white hats could circumvent Gabriel's efforts with a night or two of wild lovin'.

Both Thomas Daggett, the mortal hero from the first movie, and Lucifer make brief, pointless reappearances in this movie -- although it is probably significant to note that neither actor returned to reprise the roles. Gabriel also makes use of another not-quite-dead minion, but Izzy (Brittany Murphy) fails to equal the balance of mirth and misery that his former minions achieved.

Gabriel's opposite number is the loyal archangel Michael (Eric Roberts), but Michael is too bland and passive to generate much interest.

This film could have been a lot better with another draft or two of the script -- much of Gabriel's clever dialogue falls flat this time around -- and a bigger budget to give crucial scenes (angelic transformations, a conflict in Eden) the visual grandeur they deserved. As it is, it's a disappointing shadow of the original.

[ by Tom Knapp ]
Rambles: 9 November 2002

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