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Monday, 10 December 2007

Gabriel


Reviewers often get the stink eye from the general public for their supposed blind support for the local film industry. And rightly so: a reviewer's job isn't to give a film marks for trying hard, or making do with no money, or keeping local technicians in work. You the viewer don't care about that stuff... which is a problem because that's pretty much all Gabriel has going for it. It's not a complete stinker, mind you: this story of gun-toting demons and angels warring over an urban Purgatory has a moderately effective and heavily stylised look to its visuals, the performances are mostly competent in a super-serious Matrix bit-player way, and the story itself features a couple of well-handled twists, which is a lot more than the usual Hollywood fare. But they can't make up for the fact that the action isn't that exciting, the characters aren't anything new, the story is wall-to-wall cliches, and the whole thing has the unmistakable and leaden feel of a series of video game cut scenes strung together. The movie-makers clearly have the technical ability to put together a decent film, but when you're telling a story as tired and humourless as this one "decent" doesn't cut it.

Anthony Morris

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