The Prophecy (1995) starring Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas, Virginia Madsen, Eric Stoltz, Viggo Mortensen, Amanda Plummer, Adam Goldberg directed by Gregory Widen Movie Review

The Prophecy (1995)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Virginia Madsen and Elias Koteas in The Prophecy (1995)

Some Kind of Creepy

"The Prophecy" is one of those movies which entertain because it has an interesting idea and features some good performances, most notably from Christopher Walken whose quirky version of the Angel Gabriel is a highlight. But whilst it has an interesting idea which basically sees Gabriel going against God over humans entering heaven it doesn't do it justice as it goes from intriguing to slow to I wish it would hurry up and end. That doesn't mean "The Prophecy" is a bad movie just one which fails to keep you engaged with what is going on and ends up relying on the actors to entertain.

Many years after having a crisis of faith, Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas - Some Kind of Wonderful) has become a detective rather than a priest as he felt his calling was but his biblical knowledge is of huge help when he finds himself dealing with some very spiritual deaths. After a visit from a curious man called Simon (Eric Stoltz), Thomas is called to a crime scene, an unusual crime scene which results in an ancient bible being pulled from a victim's stomach during their autopsy. As Thomas tries to work out what is going on it takes him to the town of Chimney Rock and school teacher Katherine (Virginia Madsen - Sideways) where he finds that Simon has been killed and incinerated. But whilst there he discovers what is going on as the Angel Gabriel (Christopher Walken - Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead) has had enough of God letting monkeys in to heaven and is after the soul of a killing machine to wage his own battles.

Christopher Walken as Gabriel in The Prophecy (1995)

I read some where that "The Prophecy" is a religious movie, maybe a perverted sense of religion because whilst we are served up some recognizable names such as the Angel Gabriel and also Lucifer it twists what it is classically written about these characters. Now I am not complaining about that because what writer and director Gregory Widen has come up with is an imaginative idea of basically Gabriel having enough of humans entering heaven and starting his own faction. What I am complaining about is that whilst we have an initial sense of mystery as are curiosity is stoked by the intriguing Simon and so on it takes an absolute age to explain what is actually going on. As such it struggles to keep your attention on the actual story because it never reveals enough to allow you to understand until the final 20 minutes.

What this means is that "The Prophecy" ends up relying on the actors to keep you entertained and to be honest there is a strange mix going on. Now you have Eric Stoltz who plays the mysterious Simon with a sense of assurance as he strolls about unafraid and cool. But then you have the slightly comical which are Elias Koteas and Virginia Madsen as Thomas and Katherine, two characters who end up cliches. And then there is Adam Goldberg as Jerry a comical character because of his morbid depression and unfortunate situation as helper to Gabriel. It is a strange brew, a curious collection of characters who to be honest don't fit together.

Now there is also Viggo Mortensen who shows up at the end as Lucifer but in truth "The Prophecy" is a movie which owes a debt of gratitude to Christopher Walken. Walken has this ability, this way of looking at someone so that you never know how he will respond, will he snap, will he be sarcastic or will he deliver some righteous condemnation. Yes Walken looks strange with the jet black hair and look which occasionally looks like vampire chic but it is because of his ability to keep you guessing that he is captivating.

What this all boils down to is that "The Prophecy" is an entertaining idea which struggles but thanks to so entertaining performances, most notably that of Christopher Walken it keeps you watching.