Sunday, August 05, 2007

THE FALLEN: You know, Not Bad!

I missed THE FALLEN (the first part) when it aired in 2006. But Nephilim show up in my WIP--Hey, I didn't plan it. They just snuck in there!--so I wanted to see how it was handled in these novels-made-tv-flicks.

There are three parts: The Beginning, The Journey, The Destiny. Parts one and two were highly intriguing. There's plenty of conflict. A bit of teen romance. Family values. Foes and allies. The sorts of things one expects in a fantasy that has a mix of coming-of-age and of fugitive story. And a bit of a quest in the Messiah/Chosen One/Destiny plot.

THE FALLEN refers to, yes, fallen angels. The Nephilim are depicted as angel-human hybrids, with the powers of angels but the souls of humans. Some of the regular angels are all angtsy, wondering why Heaven is silent.

You will notice things that harken to Paradise Lost (intentional on the author's part), and to THE PROPHECY (the one with Christopher Walken as a whack Gabriel and Viggo Mortensen as a terrific sexy-creepy Lucifer.) There's also a bit of an echo to the STAR WARS saga (but I won't mention which, or I'll give away plot points.)

The trilogy follows the awakening of a Nephilim youth's power (he turns 18, which is not just legal age of maturity, but it seems that even angelic destinies follow human laws in this regard). Aaron, an orphan who is part of a loving family (mom, dad, autistic little brother), starts getting strange powers. And, looky there, WINGS. He finds out that being a Nephilim is not a happy thing. There is an angelic organization called The Powers (I keep wanting to add "That Be", snarf) and they hunt down and slaughter fallen angels and Nephilim alike.

So, most Nephilim just don't live much beyond their 18th birthday. Maybe, oh, a couple days before....SLAM! Angelfire makes you go bye-bye.

Aaron, however, is no usual Nephilim. He's a prophesied REDEEMER, and we follow him as he gains more of his power, is pursued by The Powers, assisted by some fallen angels and one former Powers leader, and is aided by a slutty, narcissistic, and very sexy fallen angel named Azazel, who clearly cannot be trusted. And who reminded me and hubby both of Spike from Joss Whedon's Buffy and Angel shows. (And I loved me Spikey! So, yeah, Azazel had the most personality of anyone in this miniseries and the coolest accent and hair. Camael had the best voice.)

I found it very watchable and interesting. I will say that the build-up was way more entertaining than the showdown, which I found not very compelling. And even my husband was making some rather mocking remarks about the climax.

And I really wish that angels could do battle in a less than usual martial arts and swordplay manner. I'm a bit jaded on regular sorts of fights, sorry. And after so many really creative films like Hero and CT,HD and others, a fight has to be something really spectacular not to make me yawn. They dropped the ball on the ho-hum angel smackdowns, not to mention the "is that all?" big clash of Aaron against...well, I'll let you watch and see. Or read and see.

Oh, and the dog was a waste. I mean, you have this dog around for the WHOLE, DANG TRILOGY and he does not a whole lot more than make quips now and then. It got mighty annoying. I was hoping someone would just steal the dog or it would morph into a demon-chomping pooch or a dragon or actually be Lucifer in doggy-drag. Anything that would justify having it around, really. Ridiculous lack of use of a continuously present character, frankly.

Still, it was a fun, fantasy offering from ABC FAMILY for most of the six hours total. Could have used a much better actress for Vilma--the actress just had zip charisma and, while pretty, didn't do much by way of actually making me feel her character. She was decorative and not much more. Pity, cause the young guy who played Aaron did a good job, as well as the amazingly-voiced actor who played Camael, the "traitor" Powers angel.

If you like "apocalyptic" kinds of fantasies, or angel fantasies, or demon fanasies, this is not a bad entry. Not perfect, but it did keep me watching to the so-so end. That says something, I guess.

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