Imagine this: Powerful and corrupt beings have led the world into a path of darkness. It is a world immersed in indulgence, deceit and the bleak chase of fleeting happiness through empty pursuits. Imagine this is our world.
That is the landscape that Gabriel is thrust into and must deal with. You see, Gabriel is the last of seven “Archs” (as in Archangels ) sent to Earth in human form to bring it back into the light. To do this, he must eliminate the “Fallen” (as in fallen angels) that have also assumed human form and who are responsible for shrouding the world in darkness. Six others, some whom were more powerful than him, have failed at this task. He is the last. He is the last hope for mankind’s salvation.
Gabriel is a movie that was co-written and directed by Shane Abess, and though the story is far from unique, it is masterfully well-done. The direction, production and cinematography are interesting and conceptual, and it was nominated for the AFI Award in 2008 for best visual effects. While some of the acting performances are below par (and some are just plain bad), the story was compelling enough to keep me interested, and the direction moved it along at a nice clip so that I only winced at some of the poorly delivered lines before things changed to performances less wretched. Andy Whitfield plays the character of Gabriel extremely well and is a very likeable, identifiable character to bond with, and may just be the reason why I think this movie succeeds.
Now, if this story sounds too hefty and rooted in religious belief; maybe to a degree that you are uncomfortable with the content, consider that some of the best movies are derivative of Christian doctrine. The Matrix is a story of a prophesied savior who would come forth and free the world from it bleak existence. Star Wars is- at its heart – a story of embracing the light or the dark side of the force – choosing a path that is upright and beneficial to others or one that is deceitful and self-gratifying. In short – Gabriel is derived from the Bible as are these other stories, just in a more obvious way.
This movie went quickly to DVD and wound up on the Netflix “watch Instantly” list, which is where I discovered it. This is likely because of the biblical ties being such an obstacle keeping it from being acceptable to the mainstream, and that is shame. Give Gabriel a shot. It is not perfect, but I think it is worth the time you will spend watching it and that is far too rare of a thing with current movies.