Heaven meets Hell in the film adaptation of Lauren Kate's "Fallen," a popular young adult book series about angels walking the earth in the form of really attractive teenagers. "Fallen" relies on the "Twilight" model of romance, where a meek but beautiful brunet, Luce (Addison Timlin), is inextricably drawn to a brooding, otherworldly hunk, Daniel (Jeremy Irvine), driven by forces beyond their control. It's faithfully formulaic, but the cast makes it appealing.
Adapted by Michael Arlen Ross, Kathryn Price and Nichole Millard and directed by Scott Hicks, "Fallen" has a sweeping, operatic aesthetic. After a tragic fire, Luce finds herself at the most glamorous reform boarding school of all time, Sword & Cross, where she encounters Daniel and his posse of impossibly cool goth-lite pals. Their teacher, Miss Sophia (Joely Richardson), lectures only about the war between God and Lucifer.
With all of this biblical lore, as well as Luce's flashes of centuries-old memories, and explosive "shadows" that follow her, it's a complex but sometimes intriguing world that Kate has built, and Hicks has rendered with a sophisticated style and stellar cast.
The story has some pacing issues: It lingers, then rapidly takes off before a shockingly abrupt ending. As a budget "Twilight," it remains to be seen whether "Fallen" will ever get a chance to finish its story.
Running time: 1 hour, 31 minutes
Rating: PG-13, for thematic material, violent images, some sensuality, language and teen partying
Playing: In limited release