Gabriel Review

Gabriel movie posterSynopsis
In purgatory, archangels and the fallen battle for the souls who have traveled there. Gabriel (Andy Whitfield), the last archangel to join the fight, must find his fellow archangels and defeat the leader of the fallen, Sammael (Dwaine Stevenson).

Review
Within the first few minutes, I was able to guess the time period of Gabriel‘s release. My initial guess was around 2004. Its actual release date is 2007. I bring this up because this movie’s style is such a product of its time. Not that that is a bad thing but all this movie has is style. The action scenes are clearly influenced by movie like The Matrix and Equilibrium but it doesn’t understand what made the action work in those films. The fight choreography in Gabriel was good and exciting. Unfortunately, the movie tries too hard to add flare to the cinematography of these scenes that it becomes detrimental the scene itself. I couldn’t see what was happening half of the time. For example, one fight scene takes place in a club with a strobe effect, one fight scene takes place in a hallway where the characters could only be seen through the door frames, and another takes place during a thunderstorm where the only source of light is the lightning. Frequently, there were many weird lighting choices that made the scenes hard to see and difficult to follow. And that’s not including all the cutaways, an obvious influence of The Bourne Identity.

Ignoring the poorly filmed action scenes, the story doesn’t do this film any favors. There is text and exposition in the opening to set up the concept of the fight between archangels, the fallen, and their fight in purgatory. It sets up rules for the fight between the light and the darkness and for the souls of those in purgatory but isn’t clear about what needs to be done to save those stuck between heaven and hell. Also, the revelation at the end was obvious and I called it halfway through the film. Maybe I’m thinking too much about this and should have just shut my brain off and (attempted to) enjoy the action sequences but there is too much about the story that wasn’t made clear that I just wanted to understand.

I thought Gabriel was BAD 😦 For an action movie, the action sequences are, while well choreographed, poorly filmed. Plus the story is mucky and unengaging. Unless you’re a fan of bad B-films, chances are you won’t find much in this film that is worth your time.

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Shane Abbess – Director / Writer
Matt Hylton Todd – Writer
Brian Cachia – Composer

Andy Whitfield – Gabriel
Dwaine Stevenson – Sammael
Samantha Noble – Jade
Michael Piccirilli – Asmodeus
Jack Campbell – Raphael
Erika Heynatz – Lilith
Harry Pavlidis – Uriel
Kevin Copeland – Ahriman
Matt Hylton Todd – Ithuriel
Brendan Clearkin – Balan
Goran D. Kleut – Moloch
Valentino Del Toro – Baliel
Amy Mathews – Maggie
Paul Winchester – Marcus
Richard Huggett – Max