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Stars: Paul Bettany, Dennis Quaid, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Willa Holland, Charles S Dutton, Kate Walsh, Adrianne Palicki

Director: Scott Stewart

A western with zombies instead of Indians, this is a good ol' B-movie which finds the archangel Michael (Bettany) marshalling mankind's last hope in the middle of the Mojave Desert. It seems that God has got cheesed off with the human race and their wars over religion, race and creed, and decided to instigate its destruction. Opposing Michael is the archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand), who is determined to carry out The Lord's wishes.

Utter rubbish, of course, but the setting and action are the things, although there's rather too much conversation in between. Armed to the teeth, Michael, having cut off his wings to avoid recognition(!), arrives at a dusty diner in the middle of nowhere, where the owner, Bob (Quaid), has been somewhat shocked by the conduct of a granny (Jeannette Miller), who has ordered rare steak, then gone one better by biting a chunk out of the neck of stranded motorist Howard (Jon Tenney) and climbed all over the ceiling before being blasted with a shotgun.

Calming things down, Michael prepares his rag-tag army for a siege. It isn't much: besides Bob there's Howard's wife and daghter (Walsh, Holland), a sinister passer-by (Gibson), Bob's son Jeep (Black), in love with pregnant waitress Charlie (Palicki) and Bob's cook and partner Percy (Dutton). Cue much heavy-duty action against besieging hordes, angels who never die even when blasted to oblivion, and the inevitable rosy ending. Roger Corman would have been proud to have produced this one.

David Quinlan

USA 2009. UK Distributor: Sony (Screen Gems). Colour by deluxe.
100 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: 15.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 2, Drugs 0, Swearing 1.

Review date: 27 Feb 2010