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Move over Constantine, there is a new fighter of the possessed here, and his name is Jake Greyman. Sure, his name is not as cool, but Jake was born half demon, and half human. Take that Constantine, you chain smoking nancy! Demon Hunter is a good start to a potentially bad ass character.
Jake Greyman (the self deprecating Sean Patrick Flanery) is a soldier of the church. This is the church that "Sunday mass with your grandparents" does not want you to see. This is the church that sends Jake in to help out with an exorcism. If it goes bad with the priest, he goes in and breaks some legs. Think of the church as the mob, and Jake is the debt collecting enforcer.
After a botched exorcism, Jake sees something going on other than the occasional exorcism. More women seem to be getting possessed than normal, and seem to be becoming stronger than your average Regan. The cardinal sends Jake, and his new partner, Sister Sara Ryan (Colleen Porch) out to investigate. It is soon found out that the demon of lust Asmodeus (the always perfect bad guy Billy Drago) has a major taste for mortal women, and is out trying to impregnate them to create an army of demon spawn.
Going into this movie, I was thinking that this would be an effects heavy, high kicking, action film ala UNDERWORLD, but was surprised to find out that I was wrong. While there is some action, it is subtle, same with the FX. Frankly, I felt that this worked for the movie. The effects were mostly practical, and the fights took place when they were needed. The rest of the movie was more of a get clues to track the bad guy down, find out what is going on, and introduce the character of Jake Greyman.
The introduction of the character was done perfectly. The first time we meet Jake is when he bursts into a room, on the opening exorcism, and proceeds to literally beat the living hell out of a young girl. We get it all; tossing her into the wall, slamming her face into the wall, etc. It was great to see Godís love shows no mercy, and also a great intro into what this character does. As the movie progresses we are given small nuggets of information about Jake, but not the whole story. The fact that we do not get the whole story leads me to my major issue with this film, but before I go into that lets go straight to a smaller annoying issue; the music.
The music in this film was poorly placed. At times we are treated to what seem like mini music videos from a band that sounds eerily like ALICE IN CHAINS. These moments take you clear out of what is going on in the movie, and made me want to go grab my copy of DIRT to listen to, instead of watching the film. These seemed just horribly out of place, and stretched way too long to benefit the pacing.
Now to my main issue with this movie.
Billy Drago, and Sean Patrick Flanery did a fine job with their characters, and made the acting overall seem that much better. As a TV pilot this would have been a great introduction to Jake, but as a movie it was lacking. Even with Drago playing a great bad guy and Flanery kicking ass at every turn, the plot was not all that solid. Drago never came off all that bad, or threatening. Hell, his biggest crime was having a taste for good looking women. If that was the case, then everyman on this planet would be locked up. Well, except homosexuals, or STAR TREK fans, but you get my point.
Anyways, it wasnít enough for a stand alone movie. After the twist at the end, the whole plot also seemed less threatening. We get subtle hints as to who Jakeís demon father was (boy, I wonder) at the end, which I would have liked to see pan out more, but the mystery as to his origins are still kept a mystery. My assumption is that this movie is a start of either a cable show (which I definitely would watch in Flanery reprises his role), or a movie trilogy. With taking this film as only an introduction, I will give it 3 Ĺ cans. If I find out that we are not given a second Demon Hunter in some form to find out more about the character, then I will come back to this review and dock it major cannage. Let that be a warning Anchor Bay, and director Scott Ziehl. While this was a good introduction, this better be only that; a good start to a potentially bad ass character.
Added: Monday, February 13, 2006
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