- Buy the DVD
Reviewed by Will Harris
f you’ve kept your eyes open and paid any attention whatsoever to DVD release trends, then you’ve almost certainly noticed that studios are always on the lookout for an opportunity to make money by putting out an old project from a newly popular actor. Statistically speaking, most of these projects tend to almost instantly reveal why they weren’t already out on DVD. Once in awhile, though, you stumble onto a real gem. “Fallen,” as you’ve probably already guessed, is one of those gems, but what you may not be sure about is which actor from this 2007 ABC Family miniseries has the rising stock – unless you’re a teenage girl, that is.
As Paul Wesley is currently making the young ladies swoon as one of the undead over on The CW’s “The Vampire Diaries,” there’s a very good chance that many of his new fans will follow him over to “Fallen.” Here, he plays Aaron Corbett, an orphan whose 18th birthday turns out to be more of a turning point in his life than he ever could’ve imagined. Not long after realizing that he’s begun to develop some decidedly unique abilities – like being able to speak in languages that he’s never actually learned and, uh, talk to his dog – he crosses paths with a homeless man named Zeke (Tom Skerritt) who’s quite interested in him. That’s because a) Zeke is short for Ezekiel, b) Ezekiel is a fallen angel, and c) Aaron is a Nephilim.
What’s a Nephilim? Glad you asked. It’s the offspring between a human and an angel. Aaron, however, is even more than that. He’s a Redeemer, which means that he’s able to provide redemption to fallen angels and enable them to return to Heaven. You can see why Ezekiel is glad to meet him, but he’s not the only one. Aaron also makes the acquaintance of Camael, the former leader of the Powers.
Who are the Powers? Glad you asked. They’re a group of warrior angels who believe the Nephilim to be abominations. Camael’s no longer down with the gang, though. In fact, he’s here to help the Redeemer fulfill his destiny. We wouldn’t want to give away what that destiny is, but suffice it to say that the Powers are doing everything in their, uh, power to prevent it from being fulfilled. It all leads to an epic showdown where Aaron learns that he’s not an orphan after all, but wait ‘til you get a load of who his father is.
Pretty heavy stuff for an ABC Family miniseries, huh? Well, don’t worry, it’s not that heavy. It is, however, a heck of a lot of fun, offering a nice blend of teenage melodrama, special effects, and religious imagery without really taking a religious position. Wesley doesn’t necessarily reveal the range of a young Brad Pitt or anything, but he more than holds his own as the lead, though it probably helps that he’s provided with pros like Skerritt and Bryan Cranston as co-stars. In fact, there’s really only one weak link in the ensemble, and that’s Lisa Lackey, who’s simply not capable of pulling off the menace required of her as Verchiel.
“Fallen” is just another bit of proof that ABC Family is home to some of the best teen-centric programming on the cable dial. It’s a shame that it took Wesley’s CW success to get the miniseries onto DVD, but hey, at least it’s here.
Special Features: Nothing but a trailer, which only serves to lend credence to the theory that this was a rushed release intended to capitalize on Wesley’s popularity and not because anyone thought it might actually be worth watching. It’d be nice if they’d revisit it at some point, at least offering an audio commentary from director Kevin Kerslake.