November 22, 2016
At the beginning of this film, the Fallen are introduced to be a group of angels who did not want to take sides between the rift between God and Lucifer. Following a rebel angel, the Fallen have decided to side with a certain Rebel Angel who embraced the concept of Love instead of Good and Evil. They will remain to be the Fallen until the rebel angel abandons love and takes a side.
After apparently causing a fatal fire in a cabin, Lucinda "Luce" Price was sent to Sword and Cross Academy, a boarding school for troubled students who could not function in regular schools. When she meets tall and good-looking Daniel Grigori, Luce cannot explain why she seems to know him even if he denies having met her ever before. The school bad boy Cam Briel is also falling for Luce, a match Daniel won't allow. Luce has to make up her mind as the two boys fight over her, revealing their real supernatural selves in the process.
Ironically for a teen romance, the director chosen was an old veteran, Scott Hicks. In fact, Hicks had been nominated for an Academy Award before for his work on "Shine" (1996), the film that gave Geoffrey Rush his Oscar for Best Actor. For this project, he maximized the foggy and eerie atmosphere of their European castle location to create an ethereal mood of mystery. There isn't really much he could do about the skimpy story he is trying to tell, but he tries his best to sell the slim premise with haunting Gothic imagery.
The main actors were all unknown: Addison Timlin as Luce, Jeremy Irvine as Daniel and Harrison Gilbertson as Cam. They were all beautiful of face, but lacked depth in their acting.They were proficient at least, but none of them really stood out to show any potential as big stars. Supporting actors Lola Kirke (as Penn Lockwood) and Chris Ashby (as Todd Hammond) do so much better because of their naturalness, a welcome contrast from all the pretentious teen angst here. The only known name in the cast, Joely Richardson, lacked subtlety in her portrayal of their Religion teacher Sophia Bliss.
I think this paranormal love-triangle romance film came out too late, so many years after the "Twilight" saga had already over-saturated the genre. Younger viewers may have a different opinion though, since this is clearly targeted for young adults. I liked how they did the angel wings though, very cool, but the fight scenes in flight were too shot too close-up to see what was going on clearly. The ending was abrupt and very open, so disappointing. This incomplete film was obviously only setting up for a sequel based on the second book in the series by Lauren Kate entitled "Torment", if it gets done at all. It felt more like the pilot episode of a TV series than a feature film. 4/10.