Fallen begins by explaining that during the war between God and Lucifer, a handful of angels were cast out of heaven for refusing to choose a side. The Fallen were banished to Earth, forbidden to return until they choose to denounce love and swear an allegiance to either faction. In present day, Lucinda Price (Addison Timlin), who suffers from hallucinations, and is dealing with a recent traumatic event, is sent to Sword and Cross, a remote boarding school that specializes in helping troubled teens. There, she finds herself drawn to the mysterious Daniel (Jeremy Irvine), and this attraction leads her to discover her role in this eternal battle between heaven and hell.
Lucinda, or Luce as she’s called, is a young girl who is considered an outsider in spite of the fact that she’s very pretty and very smart and very well liked by most of the people that meet her. And oh, there’s another guy in the school that catches her attention, and of course he’s into her, too. This naturally leads into these two hunks of meat fighting over her, because that’s the way these things go. Fallen is just another iteration of the Twilight formula. It is another oddly chaste romance about an angsty teenager becoming the center of attention of gorgeous supernatural beings. And it’s not even as good.
The whole thing just lacks intensity and immediacy. The main character is drawn to this Daniel fellow, but this doesn’t translate into immediate, palpable passion. So much of this is built around the mystery of what Daniel and the nature of his connection with Luce. It involves a whole lot of Daniel trying to avoid any contact with Luce, for reasons that we will only find out much later. And then there’s the matter of Luce’s backstory. And then there’s the whole mythology underpinning this whole thing. The film spends so much time explaining things that there’s precious little that actually happens.
And when it falls into place, it doesn’t really make a whole lot of sense. Why are all these supernatural beings hanging out in one place? Do they really need to be? Doesn’t this just draw more suspicion on them? Doesn’t this lead to more complications. Even the shaky mythology underpinning Twilight is more consistent than what is presented in this world. There is so much in here, and it doesn’t even get to cover the apparent real villain of the piece. The film ends before the characters are forced to deal with anything of real importance.
The film doesn’t look very good, either. It has some gloss and a nice location, but little else. The little bits of visual effects are pretty terrible. Addison Timlin seems to be a fine young actress, but her character here isn’t really afforded the chance to bring anything worthy of notice. Jermey Irvine doesn’t at all bring the kind of performance that might suggest a character that’s lived for a very long time. His character’s discomfort around Luce reads as mild constipation.
Fallen just wants to replicate the success of Twilight, which itself was not very good. A knockoff of a property that had few merits to begin with doesn’t have much chance of being very compelling. And this is indeed the case with this film, which has to spend so much time explaining everything that’s going on that it doesn’t really have the time to just be a fun or a romantic film. These characters are figuring out a mystery that we already know the answer to. And little heat is generated along the way.
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