Written by Lois Kennedy
Director: Scott Stewart
Cast: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Charles S. Dutton, Tyrese Gibson, Lucas Black, Adrianne Palicki, Kate Walsh
God, having become “tired of all the bullshit” on Earth, decides that it’s Armageddon time. So hordes of angels are dispatched, wreaking havoc and possessing people. The angel Michael decides to help humans out, so he heads to a diner in the middle of nowhere to defend Charlie, a waitress who’s eight months pregnant with the last hope for mankind. Also present in said diner are Jeep, who’s in love with Charlie, Jeep’s father Bob, cook Percy, drifter Kyle, and dysfunctional family Audrey, Sandra, and Howard. Together they make a last stand against the other angels.
Given that the movie’s main source of inspiration is the Bible, I guess a little sexism should be expected. The big strong menfolks fight while the womenfolks stay inside. Charlie especially is told not to do anything brave—her role is to have a (male) baby. Once he’s out, can she protect him? No, that’s what Jeep is for. The movie makes much of being macho. Despite being an angel, Michael is neither kind nor sensitive; he comes with the sole purpose of saving the baby and doesn’t care whether anyone else lives or dies. The second biggest influence on the film seems to be action movies; there’s a lot more focus on shooting, fires, and fist fighting than scares—though horror great Doug Jones has a cameo as a creepy angel driving an ice cream truck. There is also an eerie moment showing just how many angels are driving to the diner; there are scores of headlights, with whirring heads behind every steering wheel. And sure, I guess the lady walking on the ceiling is a little scary.
But my main gripe about the movie is that I dislike the characters. It’s never explained what’s so great about Charlie or her baby, which she initially doesn’t want, and doesn’t even take proper care of. (Maybe she was chosen for her ability to deliver a baby and be up and running around minutes later.) Jeep is obsequious and stalker-ish, Bob is dour and spouts awful one-liners, Howard and Sandra are obnoxious yuppies, and Audrey is a sulky teenage cliché. Kyle and Percy are okay, though they verge on African American stereotypes (then again, most of the white characters boil down to white trash or WASP stereotypes). I also dislike how the film attempts to use biblical plagues, but trails off after locusts and boils.
Check it out if you’re in the mood for bold violence and just enough plot to link the kabooms.