An extensive pre-credits series in one episode of Amazon & # 39; s Good omens shows the best part of the mini series with six episodes based on the book of the same name by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. The segment follows the 6,000-year relationship between prissy angel Aziraphale (Michael Sheen van The Queen and Frost / Nixon) and swaggering demon Crowley (Doctor who David Tennant), who have known each other since the Garden of Eden, was a continuing concern. The series is an entertaining romp through myth and history, with the two popping up as knights in Arthur England, as part of a goofy espionage drama during the Blitz, and going out to pancakes during the Reign of Terror. Although technically on the opposite side of a cosmic conflict for the souls of mankind, they form a deep mutual respect driven by witty joke, and their odd purple chemistry forms the heart and soul of the series.
That series also reveals Good omens& # 39; greatest weakness. The scene is joyful when Crowley and Aziraphale are spruce, compassionate or working together to end the apocalypse their bosses have been waiting for since the dawn of humanity. Scenes with just one of them still tend to be strong, especially since Crowley happily outsmarts everyone around him. But if neither is on the screen, Good omens comes to a halt. The supporting cast members are needed to advance the conspiracy or provide the necessary explanation about the complicated mythology of the series. But nobody else has enough development or freedom of choice to make his scenes worthwhile, unless they play one of the main characters.
This error comes from the source material, which Gaiman has adapted extremely faithfully. (Pratchett died in 2015.) Much of the dialogue is directly quoted from their book, which combines Gaiman's love of extensive world building and cosmic conflict with the idiosyncratic characters and absurdist comedy of Pratchett. While the 1990 novel has been slightly updated for time – apparently one of Crowley's diabolical actions was inventing the selfie – it remains true to the confused plot, where the final conflict between good and evil begins shortly after the 11th birthday from the antichrist. In a parody of The Omenit was intended that the son of Satan be raised with power and privilege by an American diplomat. But due to a comedy of errors in a hospital run by satanic nuns, Adam Young (Sam Taylor Buck) was sent instead to the British village of Lower Tadfield, where he has become a leader of a group of children who are in fact a less charming version of the gang from Stranger Things.
Both heaven and hell want the rematch that the Apocalypse will bring about, but Crowley and Aziraphale have become used to the comfort of Earth. They have largely skewed their duties and discovered that humanity is more than capable of doing right and wrong without their intervention. They also prefer to spend time with each other rather than with members of their respective hosts. The rulers of hell are grotesque, insignificant and without humor, unable to grasp Crowley's achievements because they do not understand modern technology. None of them has enough character to justify the production budget that was used to cover them with ulcers, flies or scales.
The angels are meanwhile distant and filled with the same kind-hearted foolishness that leads to the bureaucracy of heaven The right place. They are beautifully embodied by Gabriel (Crazy men& # 39; S Jon Hamm) who was hardly mentioned in the book, but here serves as supervisor of Aziraphale, filled with cheerfulness, even as he disdaines man and supports the final war. He is by far the best supporting character and proof of a stronger, more dynamic story that would have been made possible if Gaiman had been willing to expand the story.
The rest of the cast is just trying to do their best with the thin material they are offered. Anathema Device (Adria Arjona), a witch whose family has been preparing for the Apocalypse for generations, could be the protagonist of a completely different story, but is just here to provide information to more important characters, and to be part of two horrible romance plots that have skilled, smart women who fall for unfortunate men for no apparent reason. Michael McKean brings the same crazy humor that he showed Clue and This is Spinal Tap to the nipple-obsessed witch hunter Shadwell, but he plays a one-note character that can't stand up to the comic depths of Aziraphale and Crowley.
The antagonists of the film feel flat for a moment. War (Mireille Enos from The killing) and famine (The originals& # 39; Yusuf Gatewood) both receive exciting introductions that show how the Riders of the Apocalypse can cause misery in modern times. A similar development would have been a great blessing for Pollution (Lourdes Faberes), which is particularly distinguished by Captain Planet villain Dr. Blight and Death (Brian Cox from succession and X2) who just made a production of A Christmas song. But it doesn't really matter, because the entire plot of the Horsemen ends in a boring climax that is meant to be a great moment for Adam's friends, but doesn't feel well deserved.
That's a shame because Good omens has a number of strong themes, even if they are minimally developed. Adam almost destroys the world, not because he is inherently bad, but because, like so many young people today, he sees the mess that previous generations of things have made and is willing to take everything down to build a better world. Anathema's plot explores the choice between getting support by following the wishes of your family and the challenging freedom to forge your own way. But as is the case in the rest of the show, only Aziraphale and Crowley get a real development if they navigate unsatisfactory jobs, the absurdity of God's ineffable plan, and the problems caused by moral absolutism.
Fortunately, the quirky cheerfulness of the series provides power even at the lowest points of the plot. It visually looks like a version of Dogma as recreated by Monty Python. Sherlock and Doctor who director Douglas MacKinnon uses dolls, over-the-top makeup and costumes, pyrotechnics and a card trick demonstration (narrated by Oscar winner Frances McDormand, as the voice of God) to provide an almost constant spectacle. Comrade Sherlock veteran David Arnold has done fantastic work with the cheerful theme of the show, which is sampled in various forms during the course of the series. Meanwhile, Crowley is constantly being followed by a soundtrack of Queen songs such as "Bohemian Rhapsody", which shines from the Bentley he rides to the last showdown.
Good omens is, in his heart, a cosmic gay-rom-com, with badboy Crowley seducing Aziraphale to come out of his comfort zone and enjoy life, while Aziraphale simultaneously seduces him into a better, less selfish person. The duo is shaking together, falling apart under the pressure of the events around them and their conflicting moralities, and inevitably coming together again to save the day and each other. The gaps in their relationship are felt much sharper than any case of demonic mass murder. Their story is so clear and fascinating that it is worth watching even if it fades the rest of the show.
Good omens debuts on Amazon Prime Video on May 31, 2019.