Reviewed By

Christopher Armstead
Christopher Walken has been acting since before I was born, and I'm almost an old man myself, so that makes Mr. Walken like… ancient.  Christopher Walken has been amazing in some really good movies, and he's been awesome in some really bad movies… but good movie or bad movie, in some kind of way, Mr. Walken and his rather unique style almost always brings some kind of awesome to whatever role he chooses to take on.  But what is Mr. Walken's greatest performance?  The 'Deer Hunter'?  His one scene in 'True Romance'?  'Pulp Fiction'? Abel Ferrera's 'King of New York'? 'I need more Cowbell'?  So much to choose from.  There are those, though, who say it's this role right here… the tragic archangel Gabriel from 'The Prophecy'.  And honestly, who are we to argue with these lunatics?  Nobody, that's who.

There's a war going on in Heaven.  Another war, because there was that war back in the day with Satan and all, but this one here is a new war.  Now to be completely honest with you, I'm not to terribly sure about what this war is about and what it means and what the end result that Gabriel is searching for, but I do know that it's happening right now… but later for all of that.

At the moment we need to familiarize ourselves with a few people.  One being tough NYPD detective Thomas Daggett (Elias Koteas), who at one time was a priest before he lost his faith. Or got too much faith.  Something like that. Right now he's investigating a strange murder involving an individual with no eyes, an internal organ setup which shouldn't exist on this planet, and in possession of a Bible with an extra Revelations chapter in it, which our detective has been able to decipher.  This person was an angel, killed by another angel, Simon (Eric Stoltz), who is desperately trying to keep something very important out of the possession of Gabriel, who once he gets this thing, can change the tide of this war in Heaven that I don't understand.
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Eventually Gabriel shows up on the scene, and Gabriel, in a word, is a trip.  And he really needs this thing that Simon had, which he has cleverly hidden.  This thing Simon has hidden has led Gabriel and his reluctant ghoul Jerry (Adam Goldberg) to a small desert town and the classroom of Katherine the school teacher (Virginia Madsen) who makes the acquaintance of Gabriel, and she can see that truly something is wrong with this guy.  Eventually Thomas the cop and his investigation will also lead him to this town, leading both the school teacher and the cop in the position of protecting this particular little girl from Gabriel, and in the meantime… maybe… protecting the human race?  Again, I'm not sure.  But I do know they won't have to do this alone because they have this most awesome wingman named Satan (Viggo Mortenson) on their side.  It's complicated.

I have an old friend who has always had a real problem with this movie in that it almost forces you to root for The Devil.  This is a spoiler of course, but then this movie is over twenty years old so you really should've seen it by now, but in the theater showing when I first saw thing, and Satan pulled out Gabriel's heart and starting eating it, the audience was cheering.  Like… Yay Satan!  You go!  He has an issue with that, this guy did.  I told him then, just as I'm about to tell you now, that as a movie 'The Prophecy' is completely ludicrous on just about every level of ludicrousness, so stop taking it so seriously.
But look at this cast that director Gregory Widen was working with, featuring practical living legends such as Viggo Mortenson, and Virginia Madsen, not to mention Koteas, Stoltz, Goldberg and Amanda Plummer.  But of course, not surprisingly, the movie belongs to Christopher Walken who brings his unique style of awesome to the villainous character of Gabriel, which makes it really difficult to root against this guy.  I mean Gabriel is charming and funny and magnetic… even children like him.  Yes, he talks about killing these children after they've been born or ripping the souls out of these children, but that's more of a function of the job of being an archangel than Gabriel being a bad person. 

So the reason to watch 'The Prophecy', the reason that 'The Prophecy' shouldn't be missed, is probably due to Christopher Walken, and to a lesser extent Viggo Mortenson's inspired interpretation of Lucifer, but the presence of all of this high caliber talent in this movie doesn't stop 'The Prophecy' from being a B-movie, just one with lots of talent in it.  It's actually just a step removed from being one of those sci-fi channel originals.  I admire parts of Widen's script and his freewheeling version of theological study, I definitely admire the mythology that he built into this thing, but it would've been even nicer if I had a firmer grip on what exactly is going on in this movie.  Gabriel needs this rotten soul.  I get that.  It will end the war in Heaven.  Got that too.  Simon has to keep that from happening.  Cool.  Satan doesn't want this happen either.  Solid.  But… what happens when he gets this soul?  Why is this a bad thing again?  Shouldn't we all want this war in heaven to end?  Maybe God should step in and do something about this?  What does Satan and the status of Hell have to do with any of this?   I have no answers for you.

What we do know is Christopher Walken is terribly awesome in this movie.  And I know there are four more of these, and that while Mr. Walken is only in the next two, I'm still going to go ahead and watch them all, because that's how devastating Christopher Walken was in this singular movie.  His best performance ever?  I probably wouldn't say that, but again, who am I to argue with those that do say this?
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