Running a scant 75 minutes from material only rich enough for 20 actual minutes, “The Prophecy: Forsaken” continues the story of American Allison (Kari Wuhrer) as she continues to run from bad angels, Satan, and a mortal hitman played by Jason Scott Lee. The hitman, we learn, wants to blow his brains out instead of blowing out Allison’s, which makes him quite a pain in the rear for his angel masters, who want Allison dead for reasons that have nothing to do with God. Boiling it down to its basics, “Forsaken” is 70 minutes of walking, double talking, and more walking, punctuated by a single action scene and a couple of moments that makes you smirk, which is liable to be the only emotion the film will elicit — other than overwhelming boredom, that is.
“Forsaken” is a movie that, had you not seen the previous installment in the “Prophecy” series (part 4, called “Uprising”), then you wouldn’t know what the hell is going on. Having seen “Forsaken”, I now know that writer/director/Romania’s favorite Godson Joel Soisson sliced up a single movie into two pieces, either to get in on that whole back-to-back filmmaking gimmick that is all the rave post-”Matrix” sequels, or perhaps, more correctly, Soisson is one greedy bastard, and wants to rip off what must, by now, be a tiny “Prophecy” fanbase for as much money as he can before he goes on to inject mediocrity into other, already mediocre film franchises.
There’s no reason “Forsaken” should even last 75 minutes, just as there is no defensible reason “Forsaken” and “Uprising” should be two movies. Take out all the endless posturing by the bad guys and good guys, all the double talk meant to engender complexity where none exists, and the two films, put together, would barely scrape 90 minutes of viable content. Separate, they’re unwieldy messes, with “Uprising” getting by on Sean Pertwee’s affable personality, and the sequel barely squeaking by on my general affinity for actor Jason Scott Lee, who only occasionally wanders away from his Hawaiian jungle home for jobs in lifeless direct-to-video franchises. (You can catch him being the best thing about the “Dracula 2000″ series, which is also under the peddling hands of one Joel Soisson.)
In “Forsaken”, Kari Wuhrer is once again on the run, this time from renegade angels led by Tony Todd, here doing his best Candyman impression in a long coat but, oddly enough, no meat hook for hands. Then again, giving Tony Todd a meat hook for no decipherable reason would have been twice as creative as Soisson and company were capable of. As chronicled in the previous installment, Allison has come into possession of the Lexicon, a book that is literally still writing the history (and coming apocalypse) of man, including the name of the anti-Christ who will usher in said apocalypse. So Todd wants Allison dead, but hitman Lee is having a crisis of conscience, and Satan is definitely pro-apocalypse, right?
Better yet, who cares.
In order to maintain a decent running time in “Uprising”, Soisson padded out the film with an oddball Buddy Cop subplot whereby Satan, disguised as an Interpol cop chasing a serial killer, is partnered up with grumpy cop Sean Pertwee and the duo went about town in Pertwee’s run-down car having Buddy Cop moments. Meanwhile, in the background of “Uprising”, Wuhrer’s Allison ran from guys in trenchcoats who like to pose for the camera. Now tasked with padding out “Forsaken”, Soisson goes with Jason Scott Lee’s hitman, who is on “one last job” for evil angel Tony Todd. It’s all as clich’ and pointless as it sounds, unfortunately.
The only real decent moments of “Forsaken” are whenever Allison comes near Satan, played by John Light as a charmer with a wry sense of humor. Whenever the two get together, I had fleeting thoughts of a better movie about a dysfunctional romantic comedy whereby Satan romances a human woman living in Romania for reasons unknown. Hey, it could work. Tony Todd as the human-hating angel (he calls us lowly mortals “monkeys”) is less successful, if only because Soisson’s script tries too hard to make Todd meaningful. And the ending just screams lame. No, not lame. I call “super lame” on “Forsaken’s” ending.
De facto female lead Kari Wuhrer does what she can as Allison in both movies, but as the clich’ goes, there’s just nothing for her to work with. Even so, there are moments between her and Jason Scott Lee that makes you wish Soisson had done the creatively correct thing (instead of the commercially-driven thing) and just made a proper movie where Allison gets able assist from a hitman and the duo must go on the run from angels, demons, and Satan. Instead, we get two movies that never had a chance to stand alone.
The results: “Uprising” is passable entertainment, while “Forsaken” is 20 minutes stretched out into 75 minutes that feels like an eternity. On the plus side, at least Joel Soisson isn’t a completely incompetent director. Plus, there’s Jason Scott Lee, who I wish would stop doing such generic junk and get back into decent productions already.
Joel Soisson (director) / Gregory Widen (characters), John Sullivan (story), Joel Soisson (teleplay)
CAST: Jason Scott Lee … Dillon
John Light …. Satan
Jason London … Simon
Tony Todd … Stark
Kari Wuhrer …. Allison