|Star:||Christopher Walken, Jennifer Beals, Russell Wong, Eric Roberts, Brittany Murphy|
|Cert / Year:||18 - R / 1998|
Loosely continuing the story from The Prophecy, Prophecy 2 begins with Lucifer ejecting Gabriel (Christopher Walken) from Hell and returning him to Earth so that he may resume his battle against his fellow Angels, albeit several years later. Upon his resurrection Gabriel discovers that he must prevent to the "prophecized" birth of a "Nephilim" (child of human and Angel parentage). The birth of such a child would signify the end of the angel war in Heaven as it would unite the warring Angelic factions. Firstly though, Gabriel pays a little visit to Thomas Daggett (The "talking monkey" cop who defeated him in the first film) whom since his encounters with the warring angels has become quite a prophet and is plagued by visions of the continuing war and lives a solitary existence within a monastery. After giving his former adversary a warm reception, Gabriel begins his pursuit of the Angel Danyael (Russell Wong) whom has now mated with a human and is protecting her from Gabriel's army of angels. Despite his hatred of the human race, Gabriel is still forced to employ the assistance of one to drive him and explain the intricacies of DOS. His undead sidekick this time around is in the ditzy form of teenage girl Izzy (Brittany Murphy) who having comitted suicide was just the right type of talking monkey for him to coerce.
Unfortunately it is becoming apparent that once Gregory Widen has created some cerebral and impressive characters, he hands the reins to some obvious fools who seem to do their utmost to ruin the story and characters. The travesty that are the Highlander sequels is prime evidence of this. A superb and awesome film like Highlander was followed by a succession of terrible sequels that chewed up the story and characters and spewed out some decidedly awful offerings. The Prophecy had a very cool story and was a fine film despite one or two minor flaws, The Prophecy 2 however has a tenuous story that does at times push it a little too far and does little with the characters. This appears to be a sequel for the sake of making one and lacks much of the style and endearing qualities of the first. The character of Daggett indicated from the first film that he would be a central character to any ongoing story arc and would tie in nicely with the story. The fact that Gabriel didn't / couldn't kill him outright or influence him in The Prophecy was a major indication that he was perhaps "touched by god" for a specific purpose. This appears to have been completely overlooked or ignored when writing this film. Basically in a most un-angelic way, Gabriel tracks Daggett down to where he has been doing his "good work" and promptly burns him to a crisp for revenge. Surely if Gabriel could have done that, then he would have done it in the first film before Daggett got chance to bludgeon him and allow Lucifer to devour his heart.
On numerous occasions, this film basically cops out and cheats the viewer. Whether it be in terms of special effects or just in terms of story and direction. In order to fully appreciate this film you really will have to see The Prophecy, as Prophecy 2 doesn't spend any time explaining plot or back story and no time whatsoever to develop any characters. The film is literally held together by Gabriel and the performance of Christopher Walken. The supporting cast is generally made up of B-Movie actors but most of them provide good performances on the whole. Bruce Abbott (Re-Animator) takes over, however briefly the role of Thomas Daggett originally played by Elias Koteas in The Prophecy. A reasonable performance by Russell Wong (Romeo Must Die) and not quite as wooden as some of his other work. Yet another ditzy, dosile character performance by the curious Brittany Murphy (Drive) as Gabriel's unwitting "helper" who also enjoys some excellent and memorable set pieces with Walken. Still struggling to shake off the whole Flashdance thing, Jennifer Beals manages a tasteful nude scene and a generally unwooden performance for a change, as Valerie the film's heroine. The main problem isn't particuarly the cast, as they do provide some reasonable performances, even the vaccuous Eric Roberts. The problem really is the often poorly written script, which relies heavily upon the strength of the original story and film in addition to the weight of Christopher Walken's performance.
The direction by Spence is rather dull and staid throughout and thankfully he hasn't done anything else since. Perhaps a couple of special effects shots provide anything impressive whereas the remainder of the film cops out at every opportunity and cheats the viewer out of what could have been some good effects shots. Some of the cinematography is rather poor and combined with some rather bland direction mostly in heavy shadow, is matched only by some generally corny dialogue. Walken is just about as cadaverous and coldly menacing as the first film but even he has limits. Where the first film was an erudite tale of an ultimate "good versus evil" battle, the primary focus here depicts the archangel Gabriel pursuing a woman in order to exact an abortion. I can see the Catholic church and the "pro-lifers" kicking up a stink over that one. Prophecy 2 does nothing for or with the story brilliantly set out during the first film.
Compared to the original, which is unavoidable The Prophecy 2 is quite dissappointing really. The story just doesn't particuarly go anywhere and unless you have seen The Prophecy it won't mean a darn thing to you. The final insult and ultimate indignity for Gabriel is rather poetic but after The Prophecy you do expect a better sequel than this. Not as good as the first film but tolerable and mildly entertaining. Prophecy 2 is criminally lacking the budget and the style of the first film which is a great pity as this could have been a powerful and poigniant sequel.
Gabriel: "Let's understand each other. I sang the first hymn when the stars were born. And, long ago I announced to a young woman, Mary, who it was she was expecting. On the other hand, I've turned rivers into blood, kings into cripples and cities into salt. So I don't think that I have to explain myself to you.
|1.85:1 Widescreen||Nice clean image|
|Dolby Digital 5.1||Not particuarly impressive but good quality|
|Boringly dull static menu|
|For a straight to video release this isn't too bad a quality presentation. But you just wish there was more to it.|