Facebook Twitter

Devilish flaws mar ‘Megiddo’

SHARE Devilish flaws mar ‘Megiddo’

MEGIDDO: THE OMEGA CODE 2 —* 1/2 — Michael York, Michael Biehn, Diane Venora, Franco Nero, David Hedison, Udo Kier; rated PG-13 (violence); exclusively at the Carmike Ritz 15 Theaters.

"Megiddo: The Omega Code 2" finds Michael York reprising his role of Satan in this unconvincing sequel to the 1999 surprise hit "The Omega Code."

Although the film is inspired by biblical text, it plays like a melodrama. Back in 1960, Satan spots the perfect individual to inhabit.

He's Stone Alexander, the young son of media tycoon Daniel Alexander (David Hedison), who blames his baby brother, David, for causing the death of their mother. So furious is Stone that he sets fire to his brother's crib; luckily, their nurse is able to rescue David, who is unharmed.

Daniel deals with Stone by packing him off to a military school outside Rome run by a General Francini (Franco Nero). Stone matures into a ruthless adult and natural leader — with an unaccountable British accent.

Near the school is a cobwebby chapel inhabited by a Satan worshiper (Udo Kier), who recognizes Stone for who he really is and becomes his loyal follower.

By the time Stone (York) is well into middle age, he has long been married to Francini's daughter Gabriella (Diane Venora) and has progressed from being the head of the European Union to the megalomaniacal leader of his new world order.

Stone systematically wills adversaries to their deaths, causes the Sphinx to crumble, turns Los Angeles into a raging inferno, etc., etc. Because he is Satan in human form, he will not be satisfied until he is in absolute control of the entire world, which he will then turn into hell on Earth.

Defying him is David (Michael Biehn), who has become president of the United States.

Under Brian Trenchard-Smith's direction, the film has scope and energy with lots of rather obvious special effects and not an iota of subtlety.

York is admirably robust and plays with relish, the only way to go under the circumstances concocted by writers John Fasano and Stephan Blinn. Venora, like Biehn, Hedison and other veterans, is a solid pro who plays with a straight face much that is simplistic and contrived.

In years past, Billy Graham's motion picture company produced a number of worthy and thoughtful films celebrating Christianity. What's wrong with "Megiddo" is not its good-vs.-evil theme but the clunky, unpersuasive manner in which it has been expressed.

"Megiddo: The Omega Code 2" is rated PG-13 for violence, warfare and some thematic elements. Running time: 106 minutes.