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FALLEN
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Reviewed by: Andre Manseau

Directed by: Mikael Salomon

Starring:
Paul Wesley
Tom Skerritt
Bryan Cranston
Ivana Milicevic
Rade Serbedzija

Movie:  
star star star star
Extras:  
star star star star
Overall:  
star star star star
What's it about
Aaron Corbett has just turned 18. Instead of hair in weird places and awkward dates, this orphan discovers that he can do some pretty wild things like communicate in odd languages and speak to his own pet. On top of this, he meets up with a random old creepy bum who turns out to be a Nephilim, the cross between human and angel. Looks like Aaron might be an angel.
Is it good movie?
I'm going to have to get something off my chest right away- this is not a movie/miniseries for us hardcore horror geeks. This is a light, fluffy and disposable miniseries produced by ABC family and although it does deal with moderately heavy themes, it specializes more in the vein of teenage angst and flashy images moreso than anything weighty.

Anyway, with that being said those folks who are fans of stuff like The Vampire Diaries and (shudder) Twilight might dig this stuff, but the rest of us should run far, far away. The plot is very straightforward and light- the orphan is a guy who can't get the girl and then goes through all of this strife on his 18th birthday. Of course, it is then his task to save everyone around and even redeem the Fallen he might run into. Naturally, he meets other folks along the way who don't want him to help out the nephilim (the Powers), and a revelation about why Aaron's an orphan. Fairly predictable stuff. but entertaining for the kiddies.

This isn't a detailed idea, and that makes the whole thing pretty tough to watch in one sitting. Clocking in at over four hours long, the whole thing keeps a pretty good pace but there's nothing of real substance going on. I guess it could be argued that this is better than being bogged down with too much extraneous plot, but as someone who isn't a fan of tween dramas, I had a hard time with it. There are some action sequences that are decently produced, but some of the effects are a little weak.

Have I mentioned that Bryan Cranston is in this thing? Easily the best part of the film, Cranston gets to chew some serious scenery as Lucifer. The star of this project is Paul Wesley, who is just another one of those high school kids who is too old for high school. Tom Skerritt helps out quite a bit as Zeke the guiding nephilim, although Lisa Lackey's villainous portrayal of Verchiel is really lackluster.

I suppose the bottom line here is that I can't really see a reason why this should exist. Its an older project that has been released due to the success of Wesley's show, The Vampire Diaries. The problem is that we've seen the whole 'coming of age with weird powers' plot has been done so many times over, and been done better. I can't say that the thing is awful, but being mediocre makes something pretty difficult to want to watch for four hours.
Video / Audio
Video comes in 1.78:1 widescreen and looks okay, although you can tell it was made for TV.

Audio is presented in Dolby Digital and sounds just fine.
The Extras
All you get is a trailer.
Last Call
At the end of the day, this is strictly for young fans only. This is a long, drawn out extended pilot that never saw the light of day, and that was likely for a reason. While the whole thing is watchable, it is pretty heavy handed, empty and derivative.
ARROW IN THE HEAD'S RATING SYSTEM
star star star star I'D BUTCHER MY FAMILY TO SEE THIS AGAIN
star star star HANG ME BUT I DUG IT A LOT
star star AN OK WAY TO KILL TWO HOURS
star JUST SLING AN ARROW IN MY HEAD AND LET ME DIE IN PEACE

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