Christopher Walken is a wonderful thing. When the man is ‘on” he can make the hair stand up on the back of my neck, raise goose flesh on my arms and make the roots of my hair tingle.
The Prophecy (1995) was tailor made for him.
Police detective Thomas Dagget (Elias Koteas) was going to be a priest. He lost his faith when he saw visions of a battlefield of Heaven and subsequently went into law enforcement. He is shaken when he investigates the death of a man who isn’t a man, found carrying an ancient bible with additional scripture.
You see, there is a second war in Heaven. The first war was when Lucifer was cast down, the second was when God gave Men souls and placed them above the Angels. The Angels, especially Gabriel, didn’t like that very much and have been fighting ever since.
Gabriel wants the soul of the most evil man on earth so that he can win the war. The Angel Simon (Eric Stoltz – brilliant but short-lived in this movie) is still loyal to God. Simon stole the soul away, and hid it in a little Native American girl. Thomas Dagget and Catherine (Virginia Madsen) are trying to save the little girl—and the world—from Gabriel.
Gabriel is nasty and Christopher Walken plays him to a T. Gabriel comes to people when they’re at the moment of death, calls them back to serve him while they’re in agony. Jerry (Adam Goldberg) is one of those people who Gabriel so kindly refers to as “talking monkeys” and he provides a dark humor as he alternately curses the Angel, and begs to be allowed to die.
Viggo Mortensen shows up as Lucifer, fairest and first of all Angels. He plays his role so well, with such manic energy and palpable evil that you simply have to shudder. He steals the ten minutes of screen time and makes such a lasting impression you’ll be tucking your toes under the covers so he can’t reach up from under the bed to get your feet.
The story is fascinating and the acting—especially by Walken, Stoltz and Mortensen—wonderful. The plot moves quickly and is easy to follow, but it also makes you ask the question: would you really ever want to see an Angel? They destroy cities, rain brimstone down from the skies, and kill firstborn children while their mothers watch. Would you really want to see a creature of such deadly beauty? Would you REALLY want to see an Angel if they were like Christopher Walken?
Well, only on the movie screen, maybe.