Dark Angel: The Ascent  - Alex
Director: Linda Hassani
Starring: Angela Featherstone Daniel Markel
Dark Angel is one I hadn't heard about from Full Moon. But as it came with several others, I now have it. Of course the several others were new to me, but be that as it may.
Being from the hey day of Full Moon films, they were able to really nail down the high budget look, despite I imagine minimal funding. The movie was filmed in Romania, so there were plenty of existing locations that I imagine saved a lot on set design. The city, while looking like any other (and stocked with American actors), was also in Romania, so it gave off an older vibe.
Now as far as plot goes, it's a mixed bag for me. They portray an interesting twist on the Heaven and Hell relationship. Rather than demons and devils being truely evil, and against God, they are actually servants who do the dirtier work. It is actually the humans who have the potential to be evil, while demons are simply there to do their duties of torturing them for enternity. They do have a reverence to God, and in fact pray to him at meals, and bow before sacred objects.
I found this to be a fresh take on the subject. However Veronica, a young female demon, doesn't see why they must wait until humans have sinned past the point redemption to deliver punishment, and instead wants to travel to the surface and teach lessons so that their future suffering may be lessened or avoided. This decision isn't met well with her parents, as they follow their duties to the letter.
Veronica escapes despite this and appears in a city, and is soon hit by a car. After waking up in a hospital, a friendly doctor takes her into his apartment for the time being. She spends the day watching TV, and seeing the state of humanity makes her realize that the greater evil is on Earth and most humans don't deserve to wait until Hell to be punished. After a quick walk with her Hellhound, she comes across some muggers/rapists and reverts to her demonis form in order to tear out their spines. This is seen as a noble act on her part, and is confused by the female victim in the original assault isn't pleased with the outcome. This also attracts some unwanted attention from the police, so they become a thorn in her side.
A few murders later, some involving racist police officers, she sets her aim for the mayor. Not here's where I get a little conflicted on the message. I agree that there's a lot wrong in the world and each person in it could do a little more to help others. It's a safe message, and few would speak out against it. However the mayor, who I imagine is a Republican as it's oh so trendy to tackle them, basically is against illegals and freeloaders on the system. Now he comes off in an arrogant manner, but I don't see this as really Hell-worthy. While it certainly doesn't win any popularity contests, I certainly don't see the problem with enforcing immigration and ensuring that public assistance isn't abused. However for the sake of argument let's say he wanted to let poor people starve or something.
While Veronica outright kills many of the sinners, she turns more towards showing them images of Hell in an attempt to redeam them. Why the people lower on the totem pole didn't get that offer, I don't know. But all in all, it did take a few different turns and kept me watching. Visually it performed very well, and even had a few humorous moments, so I would recommend checking it out.