A film only the programmers at the Sci-Fi Channel would love

Andy Whitfield, Dwaine Stevenson, Samantha Noble, Erika Heynatz, Michael Piccirilli

After Gregory Widen’s minor-classic ‘’The Prophecy’’, where fallen angels battle one another until the other’s wings fall off, most seem to think of strictly unpleasant things when they hear the name ‘Gabriel’.

And that won’t change after sitting through this abomination.

I’m all for young Australian filmmakers going out there and giving it there all, especially when they’ve cooked up an interesting and reasonably original (the writer obviously sat through the entire “Prophecy” series before putting pen to paper on this – – the look, the tone, the thrust of the story is frightening similar) tale and have used whatever resources they can get their hands on, whether it’s an over-sized fan or a discarded and torn green screen, to help colour their canvas, but maybe points for effort should be scratched from the film critic’s review bible – – – and bad films, whether they’ve been made on twenty bucks or two-hundred million bucks, should merely remain ‘bad films’.

Apparently Sony Pictures offered to pour some more money into this film – to help spruce up the effects – once they saw the cut- – the only question: Why? Was Sony in need of something to reach their Australian film quota for the year? Did someone show they them an early cut of The Matrix Reloaded instead? It doesn’t make sense why Sony would snap this baby up…. It’s not going to appeal to anyone. If anything, it’ll evoke mass walk-outs (and I hear, at test screenings, it already has).

The story has something to do with the arch angel Gabriel (Andy Whitfield) holidaying in purgatory where he’s attempting to replace the dark with the light and obliterate his nasty former colleagues. And then someone shoots a guy in slow-motion; a dude in a hood scowls; and the former host of Australia’s Next Top Model proves once again why cable TV is the only outlet that’ll pay her bills.

“Gabriel” is an admirable effort – the effects, though patchy in parts, look OK and the lead is reasonable enough – but it’s just too languid and boring to draw the viewer in. Combine its tired snooze-worthy screenplay with some terribly murky film stock, not to mention some shocking supporting performances, and you’ve got a film only the programmers at the Sci-Fi Channel would love.

Two Panadol Entertainment.

Rating :
Reviewer : Clint Morris