OK, let me get this straight.
God decides that He wants to destroy the world again, only this time
with a plague that turns humans into possessed zombies who turn on each other.
Except that there’s one baby about to be born, father not known, who
could represent salvation for the humans (sound familiar?).
Except the expectant Mom, “Charlie” (Adrianne Palicki), doesn’t
know anything about it, she just works as a waitress at a diner in the middle
of the desert somewhere, and lives in a trailer nearby.
Now here is a different kind of apocalypse.
So the owner of this crummy diner is an
irascible old cuss (Dennis Quaid) who’s always banging on the television to
try to get it to work (last time we looked, “It’s A Wonderful Life” was
on…nice little foreshadowing there). Now
shows up, in the form of a multi-tattooed Paul Bettany with just a slight
British accent. He has fallen
from heaven, it seems, because he has fallen out of God’s favor, because
he’s actually opposing this doomsday plot of God’s, having not lost faith
in all humanity, mostly because of the Joseph figure, Jeep (Lucas Black), the
nice young man with a pure heart who’s going to marry the pregnant
“Charlie” even if she doesn’t love him back…yet.
Now throw in some other characters and
caricatures into this Wild West diner--- Kate Walsh in a non-glamorous role as
the harpy Mom of a rebellious teenager, Charles S. Dutton (the ex-con who did
time for weapons possession) preaching against handguns to a young
hoodlum---and we’re ready for an old-fashioned showdown at the corral,
machine-gunning the zombies outside, and waiting for a rescue from Gabriel,
the other archangel. But wait,
Gabriel (Kevin Durand) is opposing Michael, because he thinks he’s doing
God’s will, so he’s the avenging angel with the wings that stop bullets.
Except that Michael, seemingly wiser than God, understands that God
would change His mind if Michael could present to him a 2nd Holy
Family, innocent and naïve, with which to start over, except that instead of
fleeing to Egypt on a donkey, they’re fleeing to the desert in a beat-up
station wagon with automatic weapons stashed in the back.
Then Gabriel defeats Michael, but has
become hateful and vengeful and unmerciful in the process, and so Michael
resurrects to save the 2nd Holy Family because he has understood
the “real” nature of God, which is about mercy, and 2nd
A whole theological master treatise, encapsulated in a mediocre horror
movie. Whodathunk it?
Dr. Ronald P. Salfen, Pastor, Grace