Newcity Chicago

DIRECTED BY: Gregory Hoblit

REVIEWED: 01-20-98

Cinematographer Newton Thomas Sigel, best known for "Usual Suspects," is the star of "Fallen," rather than Denzel Washington or anyone else in the cast. The autumnal palette of "Fallen" is a joy to look at, even as the uneasy mix between supernatural thriller and detective tale fades in and out of focus. Set in and around Philadelphia, the story tracks Washington as he struggles to find out how the soul of an executed serial killer has lived on. In each scene, the settings are as stark or lush as stage settings. The police station is a wonder, verdigris lit by starbursts of lamplight. Sheets of rain provide a milky wash over night interiors. The antiqued, burnished irreality dazzles as flatfoot Washington drags out the truth about a 4,000-year-old fallen angel named "Azazel" (the intonation of which led to gales of giggles at the screening I saw). Director Gregory Hoblit's follow-up to "Primal Fear" winds up being a mildly compelling, often ponderous, yet great-looking arts-ploitationer that will disappoint fans of both genres.

--Ray Pride

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Other Films by Gregory Hoblit
Primal Fear

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