I caught this film while thumbing through titles at the video store. I had not heard of it when it was initially released, but upon seeing that it starred Denzel Washington, I sensed it would work for Your Take. It has since been broadcast on network television which allows me to provide you a complete plot.
Fallen starts with the voice of John Hobbes (Denzel Washington) telling us about the time he almost died. I did not know then how important the introduction would be to understanding the film. The narration continues as Hobbes makes a panicked stumble through the snow-covered woods. His breathing is heavy, despite his exhaustion, he continues to struggle as if someone is chasing him. Then the narrator takes us back to the beginning, or at least as far back as we need to go to get the message.
Hobbes is a top-notch homicide detective who is for responsible sending eight serial murderers to death row. But this last one is special. He, Edgar Reese, reaches out to touch Hobbes as he makes his journey to the electric chair. Whatever he hoped for in the touch does not occur, and he states he has other ways and begins to chatter in an ancient language. The meaning is not known until much further into the film. As Reese is taken to the electric chair past the galleries of viewers there to see him die, he does a strange hop-scotch of a dance and sings, "time on my side......" As he is strapped into the chair he offers an obscene deal to a guard. It has no meaning, but as they touch, what Reese could not do with Hobbes takes place, and something of Reese is transmitted to the guard who passes it on through a string of innocent people who in rotation host Reese’s evil spirit as he orchestrates his attack on Hobbes. Several murders soon take place for which Hobbes, the celebrated detective, becomes the chief suspect.
Hobbes eventually determines what is taking place and acts to end the string of evil by becoming the last host of Reese’ evil spirit and dying in a place where it cannot be passed on. And we are back to the beginning of the film with Hobbes struggling through the snow.
You’ll have to rent it to figure out the obvious. This one is not for children because of the language. And younger children will not grasp the concept. But you should gain much insight from this one. Hobbes is the willing unsung hero, willing to die as a villain to save the world—pretty much as Jesus died as a criminal on the Cross to save us. Of course there are differences between Hobbes and Jesus, the major of which is that Jesus returned to ensure that we have the opportunity to live in the freedom His death provides.
Fallen also includes great performances by Donald Sutherland and John Goodman.
(Romans 8:34 KJV Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us.)