Film review: Fallen – insipid Twilight knock-off swaps vampires for banished angels
Adapted from Lauren Kate’s bestselling novels, film’s strongest moments play like ill-conceived fan fiction, but for the most part it is wafer-thin, nonsensical and laborious to watch
An insipid Twilight knock-off so lame it frequently slips into unwitting parody, Fallen switches out vampires and werewolves for an assortment of banished angels. Assuming the form of mopey teens at the remote Sword and Cross reform school, this motley collection of leather- and beanie- clad walking clichés are sitting out an epic celestial war between Lucifer and the Almighty when unsuspecting beauty Lucinda (Addison Timlin) wanders into their midst.
Wrestling with visions and untethered abilities of her own, Lucinda is sent to Sword and Cross after starting a fire that kills a classmate. Soon she finds herself torn between the questionable charms of bad boy Cam (Harrison Gilbertson) and the monosyllabic Daniel (Jeremy Irvine) – a boy she swears she has met before. As students and teachers align themselves with the forces of Good and Evil, Lucinda must form her own allegiances, while wrestling with more familiar adolescent urges.
Directed by Scott Hicks, who was Oscar-nominated in 1997 for Shine, Fallen displays little to no understanding of religious mythology, classical literature or teenagers. In its strongest moments, the film plays like ill-conceived fan fiction, but for the most part is wafer-thin, nonsensical and laborious to watch.
Adapted from Lauren Kate’s series of novels, which have sold more than 10 million copies – proving that kids really will read anything – Fallen also feels terribly dated, arriving four years after the Twilight Saga ended. As Cam proclaims to a befuddled Lucinda, “Better never than late.” Fallen really should have heeded its own advice.
Fallen opens on December 29
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