Christopher Walken reprises his role as an evil archangel with a curious penchant for blue mascara and leather pants in this direct-to-video sequel to 1995's The Prophecy. Picking up where the original left off, Walken returns to Earth to smite the unborn half-angel, half-human child of Jennifer Beals, thereby preventing an end to the civil war that has apparently been raging between the good angels and the bad angels. As is the case with its predecessor, much of The Prophecy II's appeal is derived from the ridiculously convoluted and idiosyncratic world the filmmakers have created for the angels. Walken's character, in particular, is a walking contradiction: powerful enough to wage war against God and bring mankind to the verge of Armageddon, but unable, apparently, to operate a computer or battle his enemies with anything other than a series of WWF-style wrestling moves. Walken gives a typically droll and amusing performance as the leader of the rebel angels, but he's never especially frightening. Neither is the film, which works better as a strange, deadpan comedy than as a horror film. Part of the problem is that Walken and mousy teenage sidekick Brittany Murphy (Clueless) are exponentially more interesting and charismatic than bland hero-angel Russell Wong and his band of like-minded cohorts. So it's difficult to invest much energy into caring whether humanity ends up prevailing. Another curiosity is The Prophecy II's extreme minimalism: Almost every setting is virtually empty, there are fewer than a dozen speaking roles, and the special effects are all but non-existent. While at times amusing, and far from unwatchable, The Prophecy II's quirky strengths can't compensate for the fact that it's about as frightening as your average episode of Psi Factor.

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