Starring Paul Wesley, Bryan Cranston, Hal Ozsan, Rick Worthy
Written by Tim Huddleston & Sara B. Cooper
Based on the series "Fallen" by Tom Sniegoski
Directed by Mikael Salomon & Kevin Kerslake
Transmission: 2006 September
ABC Family, 4 hrs., 2006
Plot: 18-year old Aaron Corbett is not your typical orphan kid in high school, he's actually this powerful being known as the Redeemer who is the object of many a Angels displeasure and often used as target practice, all in the midst of a 'beautiful' romance taking place.
Now that vampires have nearly outstayed their welcome, teen girls are now looking towards fallen Angels who look heavenly handsome for their angsty romance stuff. Although FALLEN is applicable to that category to some extent, this six-part miniseries from ABC Family is actually trying to attempt something a little bit more broad, epic, and powerful (well, the novels, at least). Here's another story with a young-ish teenager who has a destiny bestowed upon him since before birth, and a bunch of characters want to kill him so a rogue warrior comes to assist him in his journey.
The first hour of this story is basically that. Aaron, played with the same painful eyes of Paul Wesley, wants answers about his life and past, and just wants to live a normal life in wake of all this crazy stuff happening around him (the ability to speak tongues and talk to animals). By the end of the first segment, Aaron comes to terms that his life won't be the same, and he needs to fight his destiny or succumb to it.
The second hour relies on set-up and characters to move the story along. The good news is, Hal Ozsan's character of Azazel is introduced, which significantly pumps up the storyline. The bad news: all the other characters and plot development is overall boring. All the characters are put into place for the epic finale, and Aaron finally decides to grow a sack of balls and 'take a stand.' No more running, no more hiding - Aaron means business! Oh, and during the second hour a love interest from the first segment reappears with a none-too-surprising revelation of her own, and quickly becomes a integral-ish part of the story. There's also a bunch of fiery sword action that was thrown into most likely to entertain the casual watcher, but it was overall not too impressive. A bunch of flips and turns that are meant to make the fight look cooler, but logistically makes not a lick of sense.
Thankfully, the third hour is the culmination of all this 'Aaron is the Redeemer!' and 'I have a destiny!' stuff, as Aaron comes face to face with the 'Light Bringer' that Azazel was bringing him to. Played to utter cool perfection by Bryan Cranston (MALCOLM IN THE MIDDLE), the scenes between Aaron and the Light Bringer make the 3 hours that came before nearly totally worth it. Cranston's performance makes this movie, and the storyline crafted around his character is pretty brilliant. And the fate that awaits Azazel is sad but satisfying, and Hal Ozsan does a terrific job with his anger all, well, the world, basically.
FALLEN is immersed in Milton's PARADISE LOST lore, with info on Lucifer, Angels, Nephilims, etc. seem mostly derived from that source [plus the Bible, duh!]. So that aspect of the storyline is very, very cool and interesting. However, the other stuff with the actual characters, the Powers, and (particularly) Camael - just kinda blah.
Although Paul is a acceptable enough actor, there's just something about the guy I don't like and immediately cringe whenever he's onscreen [for example, I was PISSED when it was revealed Kim Bauer chose him as her hubby in 24 - Ugh!]. Perhaps its his face and jaw structure? Anyway, Mr. Wesley gives a passable performance as Aaron Stone, although I would have far preferred if someone like, say, Logan Lerman from PERCY JACKSON took over the role. Someone who could embody the character perfectly. With Paul, I think I'd prefer Rob Pattinson, honestly. Rick Worthy of BATTLESTAR GALACTICA fame plays Camael, Aaron's protector, and I couldn't help but smirk at his Michael Clarke Duncan voice. "GRRRRRR!", really.
The two best actors in the piece, as said before, is Bryan and Hal (KYLE XY) who really seem to get into their roles.
At the end of the day, FALLEN isn't horrible, but at the same time not worth the four-hour running time. If you're curious, I'd suggest watching 30 mins. of the beginning and skip to the final hour segment where Aaron meets the Light Bringer. It's avaliable at nearly all Redboxes nationwide, so should be relatively easy to find if you're a interested party. I'd say it's worth the $1.07.