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Fallen

Year: 1998
Production Co: Turney Pictures
Studio: Warner Bros
Director: Gregory Hoblit
Writer: Nicholas Kazan
Cast: Denzel Washington, John Goodman, Donald Sutherland, Elias Koteas, James Gandolfini

As he ages, Denzel Washington's tastes seem to adhere to ever-thinner conventions. If he's not doing an occasional social justice pet project, he's the likeable everyman in another of Tony Scott's frantically paced action thrillers.

He's never done much in the supernatural fields, but he puts his competent, slightly confused expression to good use here as a cop who brings down serial killer Reese (Koteas). After shaking the guy's hand and watching him fry in the chair, Hobbes (Washington) thinks it's all over, but the killings continue in the style Reese used.

Employing police work and a little help from unconventional sources, Hobbes and his partner Jonesy (Goodman) realise Reese has employed some black magic to transfer his soul from his own body to Hobbes' during the handshake, and now he can jump from one body to the next at will. As the high concept asks, how do you stop a killer who inhabits the innocent?

It's patchy but mostly effective, given an extra boost and a more serious edge because of the stellar cast assembled. It could have been slightly silly in lesser hands.

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