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Almost An Angel Review

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Awakening from a short coma, an ex-con gets it into his head that he has been reborn as a samaritan angel.

★★★★

In this, his first post-Crocodile Dundee vehicle, Paul Hogan casts himself as a good-natured thief who thinks he has died after running in front of a car to save a little girl and is visted by God (an uncredited, typecast Charlton Heston), wherupon he believes that he has been selected to be a probationary angel - just like on the Michael Landon TV series Highway to Heaven, which is helpfully playing in his hospital bedroom - and sets out to do good works in general.

Specifically, he moves to a small town and cheers up a depressed, dying cripple (Koteas) while helping the wheelchair man's sister (Kozlowski) run a day-care centre for latchkey children. Rigging a few miracles, Hogan manages to save the day, ultimately convincing the girl that even though her brother has just died he's gone to Heaven so that's all right then, although this sentiment will be of little help to theatre managers who may well have to scrape up the vomited popcorn off their carpets after this uplifting finale.

Released on Boxing Day, presumably in the hope that goodwill to all men will extend to this movie, or that everyone has already drawn up their Worst Of The Year lists, this is a feature-length ordeal of quite agonising proportions. Combining Hogan's trade-marked glutinous smarm with a deadening dollop of religiosity, Almost An Angel is further stuck with a storyline that drifts nowhere, and scenes that uniformly outlive their welcome as enough homespun, God-fearin' philosophy to convert John-Boy Walton to Satanism is mercilessly rammed down your throat while Hogan works overtime to prove that, like Joan Collins and Victor Borge, he is one of those performers who is only ever bearable in adverts.

Aside from Hogan's duff script, Mrs Hogan's rotten heroine performance and Elias Koteas' bargain basement Ron Kovic act, this really is a grainy, ugly, cheap-looking picture and is barely deserving of the one-star rating it is lucky to get.

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