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The first film, The Prophecy (released in 1995), tells the story of the Archangel Gabriel (Christopher Walken), who's angry that God loves Humans (or "talking monkeys", as Gabriel likes to call them) more than angels. Gabriel comes to Earth in search of the evil soul of Colonel Hawthorne, a deceased Korean War veteran, in order to gain an advantage in a war being fought in Heaven. Another angel named Simon (Eric Stoltz) intercepts Hawthorne's soul and hides it in the body of a young Native American girl named Mary (Moriah Shining Dove Snyder). Now it's up to Thomas Daggett (Elias Koteas), a police detective who once aspired to be a priest but lost his faith in God years ago, and Catherine (Virginia Madsen), Mary's schoolteacher, to protect Mary before Gabriel gets to her. Viggo Mortensen co-stars as Lucifer.
In the direct-to-video sequel The Prophecy II (1998), Gabriel is returned to Earth (after being taken down to Hell by Lucifer in the first film). This time around, he tries to prevent the birth of a Nephilim (the offspring of a human woman and an angel) who is prophesized to finally bring the War in Heaven to an end. The Nephilim in question has just been conceived by the angel Danyael (Russel Wong) and hospital nurse Valerie Rosales (Jennifer Beals). Gabriel enlists the aid of a teenage girl named Izzy (Brittany Murphy), whom he resurrects after she commits suicide. Everything comes to a head in the dilapidated Garden of Eden when Gabriel kills Danyael in battle, only to be defeated by Valerie and turned human by the Archangel Michael (Eric Roberts).
The third film (and the last one to star Christopher Walken), The Prophecy III: The Ascent (2000), is set about twenty years after the second. Danyael Rosales (Dave Buzzotta), the half-human/half-angel son of Valerie and Danyael conceived in the second film, is preaching to a crowd about how God doesn't exist when he is shot dead by a blind attendee (played by Brad Dourif), only to later come back to life. Danyael then learns of his true heritage and his destiny to end the War in Heaven, and sets out to stop Pyriel (Scott Cleverdon), the Angel of Genocide. He is aided in his mission by a reformed Gabriel (now acting as The Obi-Wan) while being hunted by Zophael (Vincent Spano), an angel who takes Danyael's girlfriend Maggie (Karyn Ann Butler) captive and deceives her into thinking that Danyael Came Back Wrong.
There were two additional sequels, The Prophecy: Uprising and The Prophecy: Forsaken, that were both released in 2005.
If you were looking for the eco-horror film, see Prophecy.
This series contains examples of:
- Allergic to Evil: When Lucifer grabs Thomas, Thomas freezes in place, then quickly begins gasping and reacting like he's going to vomit. Then again, it is the devil touching him...
- Animal Motifs: Birds in the first film. For example, Gabriel perches on a bench and looks exactly like a bird in silhouette. Lucifer explodes into birds when departing in the second film.
- Anticlimax Boss: For all his hype, even before God's intervention, Pyriel goes down like a chump far easier than ANY OTHER ANGEL in the series.
- Ascend to a Higher Plane of Existence: Gabriel at the end of The Ascent.
- Back From the Dead: Danyael
- Badass Boast:
Gabriel: (to Catherine) I'm an angel. I kill firstborns while their mamas watch. I turn cities into salt. I even, when I feel like it, rip the souls from little girls. And from now till kingdom come, the only thing you can count on in your existence...is never understanding why.
- Badass Longcoat: Gabriel, Zophael (and technically every single angel, including extras).
- Beard of Evil: Lucifer has a mightily impressive one.
- Because Destiny Says So
- Better the Devil You Know: Literally played straight in the first film, as former novice priest Thomas chooses to help the actual devil instead of Gabriel. It's made more bearable for him since he knows Gabriel is trying to take over Heaven and Lucifer is just trying to keep things pretty much the same.
- Big Bad: Gabriel in the first and second films, Pyriel in The Ascent.
- Big Damn Heroes
- Black Eyes of Evil: All angels have this.
- Blade on a Stick: Zophael's staff weapon.
- Blind Idiot Translation: All reviews/synopses of the movies, including this page, treat "nephilim" as a singular. In reality, it is the plural form of hebrew "naphil" (a fallen one/giant). This Troper does not know whether the mistake comes from the movies themselves; at any rate, it is an all-pervasive phenomenon whenever the nephilim ARE involved.
- Break the Haughty
- Broken Angel
- Brought Down to Normal: Gabriel. But he gets better at the end of The Ascent.
- Call Back: Mary (the little Indian girl from the first film) shows up in The Ascent to give Danyael a stone that helps him defeat Pyriel once and for all.
- Car Fu: How Gabriel saves Danyael from Zophael at one point in The Ascent.
- Character Development: Gabriel goes from hating humans to liking and helping them.
- Chekhov's Gun: Zophael's fighting staff.
- Christianity Is Catholic
- The Chosen One: Danyael in The Ascent.
- Cool Old Guy: Gabriel in The Ascent.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gabriel, Lucifer, Zophael. Also Gabriel's male human lackey Jerry from the first film, who has all the films Crowning Moments Of Funny. For instance, when Gabriel asks him, "If you were a soul, where would you hide?", he says, "The hell away from you?"
- Deal with the Devil: Lucifer makes one with Catherine, although it's a slight inversion as there are literally no strings attached; he just doesn't want Gabriel to succeed.
Lucifer: You see, I'm not here to help you or the little bitch because I love you or because I care for you, but because two hells is one hell too many, and I can't have that. What I'm offering you is a chance not only to save Mary, but to finally open Heaven to your kind. What do you say?
- Decoy Protagonist: Simon in the first film.
- Determinator: Gabriel in the first and second movies, Zophael in The Ascent.
- Distressed Damsel: Mary in the first film, Valerie in the second, Maggie in The Ascent.
- The Dragon: Zophael in The Ascent.
- Even Evil Has Standards: Lucifer doesn't really want to help Thomas and Catherine, he just really wants Gabriel to fail. He's also not too pleased about Gabriel trying to be something he isn't.
Gabriel: This war is mine.
- Evil Sounds Deep: Inverted with Lucifer. Viggo Mortensen speaks in a slightly higher pitch than normal and it's very creepy.
- Fantastic Racism: "I will NOT. ALLOW. ANY. TALKING MONKEY! To take my place!"
- A Fate Worse Than Death: Humans not being able to go to Heaven (because of the war going on among the angels) after they die could count. Not to mention Gabriel makes it clear that his henchmen are just "dying slower." Despite their mobility, they're probably still suffering from whatever was killing them in the first place.
- Faux Affably Evil: Gabriel in the first two films. And Lucifer is rather polite to Thomas and Catherine when they first meet him, even if he does briefly threaten them(Catherine) or speak in a sing-songy tone(Thomas). At their final confrontation however, he drops the act and you're reminded that this is the devil.
- Foe Yay: Gabriel tenderly kisses Simon's hand when they meet. Also, Lucifer's scene with Gabriel, where he licks his face before ripping his heart out and eating it.
- God's Hands Are Tied: Because of the War between the loyal angels and Gabriel's rebels, Heaven was sealed off. This means Gabriel can't do anything until he gets Hawthorne's soul, but it also keeps God from being able to influence the course of events.
- God Is Dead: A bystander yells this in The Ascent, prompting Gabriel to shove him.
- God Is Good: The Big Guy really cares about His precious 'monkies.'
- Half-Human Hybrid: Danyael Rosales in The Ascent.
- Heel Face Turn: Gabriel
- Heel Faith Turn: Thomas Daggett
- Herald: Gabriel in The Ascent.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: Zophael in The Ascent.
- Hollywood Apocrypha
- Hollywood Atheist: Thomas, until his Heel Faith Turn. And Danyael Rosales in The Ascent.
- Humanoid Abomination: Angels (even the "good" ones) are portrayed as often doing obscene things.
- Humans Are Bastards
- I Did What I Had to Do
- I'm a Humanitarian: Colonel Hawthorne.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Danyael
- I Never Told You My Name: When questioned how he knew Thomas's name, Gabriel dismissively tells him "You look like a Thomas."
- In Joke: There are multiple religious in jokes with varying levels of subtlety. When Simon is told that the girl he's abot to hid Hawthorne's ould inside is named Mary, he whispers "Of course." Then you have slightly less obvious like Thomas, the priest who lost his faith being named after the Apostle who didn't believe Jesus had come back to life, or how in the Bible Gabriel had the power to make people fall down in shock with his mere presence, and also helped the prophet Daniel with his visions of apocalypse.
- Insult Backfire: Combined with Call Back in Thomas and Lucifer's final face-off:
Thomas: I have my soul, and I have my faith. What do you have...angel?
- Interspecies Romance: Valerie/Danyael (human/angel) in The Prophecy II, Danyael Rosales/Maggie (Nephilim/human) in The Ascent.
- Kick the Dog
- Kill It with Fire: How Gabriel kills Simon in the first film and Thomas Daggett in the second film.
- Kirk Summation: Gabriel gets one of these in both the first and second films.
- Light Is Not Good: Gabriel in the first two films (until his Heel Face Turn in The Ascent), Pyriel in The Ascent.
- Man in White: Pyriel
- Not So Different: The Archangel Michael points out to Gabriel in the second film that he (Gabriel) and Lucifer have a lot in common.
- Not Using The G Word: Gabriel never actually says "God" when speaking of his estranged boss in conversation.
- The Obi-Wan: Gabriel in The Ascent.
- Omnicidal Maniac: Pyriel in The Ascent.
"Genocide--it happens now and then."
- One to Million to One: Gabriel sometimes teleports this way, as when a shot from a gun turns him temporarily into a murder of crows.
- Our Angels Are Different: And how! No robe-wearing harpists here: even the nicest angel in the series(Simon) thinks nothing of sticking a genocidal madman's soul into a little girl.
Thomas: Did you ever notice how in the Bible, when ever God needed to punish someone, or make an example, or whenever God needed a killing, he sent an angel? Did you ever wonder what a creature like that must be like? A whole existence spent praising your God, but always with one wing dipped in blood. Would you ever really want to see an angel?
- Pragmatic Villainy: Lucifer is far more calculating here than in his usual For the Evulz depictions. He's only doing it to make sure the balance of evil power doesn't shift elsewhere and is completely honest about it.
- Rage Against the Heavens
- Ravens and Crows: As he leaves the Navajo lodge, Lucifer explodes into a murder of crows.
- Religious Horror
- Sealed Inside a Person Shaped Can: The soul of Colonel Hawthorne, a racist, genocidal, insane soldier who tortured and massacred Chinese troops in the Korean War, is hidden inside cute little Mary.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: There's definitely something off about Colonel Hawthorne.
- Smith Will Suffice: When Catherine sees Lucifer, she says "Oh my God," to which he responds "God? God is love. I don't love you."
- Sniff Sniff Nom: The angels have very different ways of investigating things than we humans have.
- Sudden Sequel Death Syndrome: Thomas in the second movie. Blink and you'll miss his presence entirely.
- Things That Go Bump in the Night: Lucifer taunts Thomas about having been this for him.
Lucifer: Little Tommy Daggett. How I loved listening to your sweet prayers. And then you'd jump in your bed, so afraid I was under there. And I was!
- Waking Up At the Morgue: Danyael in The Ascent.
- Weakened by the Light: Colonel Hawthorne's soul, once removed from Mary, is destroyed by divine light.
- Winged Humanoid
- World Half Empty