Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Gabriel (2007)

Kat Giovenalli & Denai Gracie in Gabriel (2007)
At a glance:
When I read about Andy Whitfield's death last year, I remembered this little film. I remember that it was barely mid-January in 2008 and I was watchin this at Cathay Cineleisure in Malaysia (now branded e@Curve) with a friend, and we both thought this was already a serious contender for Worst Movie Of The Year. So incomprehensibly ridiculous was this production, it was destined to be consigned to the 4-in-1 DVD bargain basement from the off, havin never made the cinemas anywhere other than in its native Australia, although now the prints have 'fallen' to some of us, if you'd pardon the pun. What’s so bad about the movie? Surely, it has its savin graces? It has a tagline that reads “Far From Grace” and a plotline that chronicles the Fall From Grace. Sadly, that’s just a whole lot of grace for a graceless movie.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Erika Heynatz gabriel andy whitfield 2007 cathay cineleisure horrible angel Legion devil sex angel sex animal sex leather and lace
Erika Heynatz as Lilith
For starters, the texture in Gabriel is pretty grainy for a surrealist movie. It has some embarrassingly basic special effects – those that you’d come to associate with evening reruns of  Ultraman when you were a kid. Aside from that, it has some of the most absurd dialogue in a movie in recent times. Throw that in with a non-engagin, in-universe plot about purgatory, fallen angels and immortality; and you have your turkey. It cooks up a lot of hocus-pocus about Arcs (or Archangels), these high-rankin angels from God, for those of you who read the bible. The titular angel, one of seven in traditional Christianity (and one of four in Islam, I read), is here bastardised by writer-director Shane Abbess as a fornicatin, self-righteous, tattooed Australian, with a propensity to heal people à la Kwai Chang Caine in TV's Kung Fu: The Legend Continues. It’s not that we’re not open to alternative takes. It’s just that the story is plain uninterestin. The conversations between the angels are more NYPD Blue meets He-Man, with no respectable hint of any supernatural awe-inspirin echoes, while the action sequences are inferior to even that of any scene out of that PC game Diablo.
Perennial wonderment:
In at least one interview reported online, the director has been quoted to say that the film was made without any promised pay for its actors. Talk about a risk-free, cheap movie. Despite the unfavourable reviews, there were plans for Gabriel to be a trilogy and the Gabriel Trilogy Facebook page was set up but who knows what is to become of that since star Andy Whitfield has passed.
I can't remember if I cried:
There is also a bizarre, stylised sex scene that will take you back to when Alan Rickman last zipped open his pants as Metatron in Dogma (1999) to proclaim that angels have no genitalia and are anatomically impaired as a Ken doll. Talk about gettin to know someone biblically!
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
When I first saw it, I wrote that Gabriel was a disastrous effort that disappoints in all aspects of basic filmmakin and that it will find fans only among the sleepless goth teens of today. I've seen a lot of worse films since and don't begrudge it that much now.
The day the music died:
R.I.P. Andy Whitfield