Fallen

Fallen
… into the $1.99 bin

H ave angels Fallen to Earth and enrolled in high school? The half-assed theology supposition presented here further begs the question: if an angel falls in forestry class, is his GPA still sound? Ok, I have a better and far more practical question: why would any immortal being choose to relive high school? Twilight fans, feel free to chime in at any time.

Lucinda (Addison Timlin) was convicted of felony arson manslaughter. Her punishment is boarding school. This makes a certain amount of sense when you think about it. Ah, but this is no ordinary institution of reform. Here, all the teens are hot, so reform is more-or-less a non-sequitur. And, of course, there’s the thing where the student body is comprised of Fallen angels. “Luce” doesn’t know it yet, of course – and neither do we, sort of, except that the intro hinted about angels on Earth and there was probably a reason for it.

I bet this high school has a really good cheerleading squad, huh? Awesome at aerobatics and pyramids, and the whole, “we’ve got spirit; how about you!”

Two irrelevant friends and an irrelevant bully later, Luce gets to the heart of Fallen – the love triangle with bad boy Cam (Harrison Gilbertson) on one side and troubled hero Daniel (Jeremy Irvine) on the other. Daniel falls in love with Luce every 17 years only to watch her die. Every immortal knows this while Luce doesn’t, apparently, which is kinda creepy, yet perhaps not any more creepy than an old man constantly romancing an innocent teenager. Geez, Lolita much, homeboy?  Daniel proceeds with this knowledge by playing hard to get.

There is never a moment in this film in which I fully comprehended the motivation of a character on screen. I was sort of hoping Luce would take a less Bella Swan approach to romance – “dude, I dig that you’re into me, but while you’re immortal, I’ve got a paper due tomorrow. It can, like, wait.” Of course, all their classes seem theology based which is either completely redundant or super egotistical. Readers, do you think I can return to college and major in “SteelFrogBlog?”

The weirdest part of Fallen is the nagging feeling that Scott Hicks really is trying to push a little theology, and not just any theology, his religion on us. Why else is it so important for Luce to be baptized? From a theological but a-religious point of view, what, really, could that possibly matter? These souls eternally doomed to walk the Earth or relive their Sisyphean burdens … if baptism made a lick of difference, wouldn’t you have explored that avenue long before the iPhone stage of human existence?

At its heart, Fallen is simply a Twilight rip-off. Let’s assume for the sake of necessity or originality, however, this material is a shallow religious lesson of sorts. Tell me, why the Hell would anybody care about these Fallen angels? (Aside from hotness factor, of course.)  Hear me out; I want to understand. There was Heaven, right? And these beings represented part of that Heaven, like divine ushers or whatever. And then, there was a misunderstanding that led to banishment and the creation of Hell, yes? And then there was a big battle between Heaven and Hell, right v. wrong, good v. evil, yes? But these guys we’re following; they’re Fallen because they didn’t choose.  Why should I care a lick about the Fallen who observed all this and decided they couldn’t pick a side? This is like being an undecided voter in the first week of November, 2016. If you had observed the absurdity of American politics in the summer and fall of last year and yet got to Halloween while somehow convincing yourself there was more to know to make an informed -or ill-informed- decision of Trump, Clinton, or neither, well, be off with you; there is no need for your story. There is no need for your opinion. Ever. Just like there is no need for Fallen.

♪There’ll be no cuffs to bind your hands
Not if they search you from the start
And there’s no need to roam in bands
For your rooms are all apart
I see no need to craft a shiv
Eternal fate decides who lives

Just call me angel of reform school, (angel)
Another year and then parolee, baby
Just call me angel of reform school, (darling)
Then slowly take geometry ♫

Rated PG-13, 91 Minutes
Director: Scott Hicks
Writer: Michael Arlen Ross and Kathryn Price & Nichole Millard
Genre: The theology of hotties
Type of being most likely to enjoy this film: Teenagers who never got their own Twilight
Type of being least likely to enjoy this film: Anybody with even the slightest sense of objectivity

♪ Parody Inspired by “Angel of the Morning”

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