Prophecy is a rare gem. Amid so many campy and predictable movies concerning the war between Biblical angels and demons; Prophecy takes the subject matter seriously. Not only is this movie intelligent and thought provoking, but it also creates an ingenious new alternate story-line for an old and worn tale.
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** NOTE: the next two paragraphs contain the movie's background story. However, it does not give away the movie. Don't read them if you would prefer to be surprised at the movie.
In the book of Psalms, David speaks to God, saying: "Who is man that you should consider him? And who is the son of man, that you should crown him with honor and glory? But you have set him a little higher than the angels...." Ah, therein lies the rub. You see, the arch-angel Gabriel has been harboring a grudge for a *very* long time. Before mankind came along, the angels were God's favorites. But then the pesky "talking monkeys" appeared, and suddenly God had given his greatest blessing and attention to these upstart newcomers. So there was another war in heaven. Gabriel and a multitude of like-minded angels rebelled against God for taking his favor away from them and giving it to the humans.
Thus Gabriel goes the way of Lucifer. He and his fellow rebels are cast out of heaven. But they are determined to have their revenge. Their mission: to eradicate humanity completely. God's remaining faithful angels fight against them. The battlefield is earth. Angels walk among us disguised as humans.
Prophecy the movie concerns Gabriel's master plan. He has discovered a spiritual "doomsday device". Ironically, this "device" is a product of mankind's own evil. Should he succeed in putting it to use, mankind will cease to be a going concern on the planet earth. Gabriel is resisted by both angels still faithful to God, and by a washed out and embittered New York homicide detective, who once aspired to be a priest.
Enough of the story. The real star of Prophecy is Christopher Walken. Oh, he is *so* sinister. There is nothing worse than a good angel gone bad. And it's *especially* bad when that angel was an arch-angel. Walken plays the part to the hilt. His portrayal of the wrathful Gabriel is delicious. He applies equal parts contempt, malice, authority, and mockery to his characterization. I might add that the ex-arch-angel has developed a *very* sick sense of humor.
In addition to having an engrossing story arc, Prophecy is also very stylish. These aren't your grandfathers harp playing, white robed angels. No way. These are "goth" angels ;-) Visually, it is impossible to tell the good from the rotten. Only their deeds will tell. On a related note: it seems that God's angels must sometimes do very bad things to prevent worse things from occurring. You'll see what I mean.
Satan makes a cameo appearance as well. He is so well done (no pun intended ;-) His physical appearance is a subtle mockery of Jesus. Outwardly, he pretends to be lofty, wise, and compassionate in a condescending way. But occasionally, his facade drops, and you can clearly see the hideously repulsive creature that he truly is.
There is some great dialogue in Prophecy too. There are lines that you'll remember long after. Some lines will make you laugh ruefully, others will leave you thinking about the meaning of angels, demons, heaven, and hell.
I enthusiastically recommend Prophecy. See it.
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