Seen through the eyes of a demon, the world appears flat - almost two-dimensional - - yellowish, over-exposed, and moving in slow motion. At least this is what the creators of Fallen have managed to come up with. As otherworldly visions go, this must be one of the less-inspired (Wings of Desire's suggestion that angels see the world in black-and-white was much more effective). It does, however, serve as a precise description of the movie itself.
A stylistic cross between Se7en and The X-Files, this overlong, rigidly boring affair suffers from a whole list of ailments. Fallen is the sort of film in which the protagonist knows, as soon as he enters the room, which mirror to look under for the tell-tale, plot-advancing clue. Worse still, director Gregory Hoblit (Primal Fear, TV's NYPD Blue) kills any suspense that might have come out of the obligatory chase scenes.
Lacking a body of its own, the demon acquires numerous faces throughout the film. There is some sort of a theological idea here - - the detective is, after all, called Hobbes (a 16th-century philosopher who believed people were naturally wicked) - but what could be a terrifying possession plotline, as in Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, leaves Fallen in need of a clear villain.
The film does try to gain mileage from the type-casting of nice guy John Goodman and bad guy Donald Sutherland in what turns out to be one of the two surprise twists it has to offer. But those potentially neat shocks come minutes before the end, and by then we're totally uninterested.
An unenthralling, sub-Se7en 'thriller' - you know it's gonna be bad when Denzel Washington demonstratively picks a bottle of Budweiser over those foreign beers, and gives a speech about the merits of being a cop.