City of Angels is a daring Hollywood remake of Wim Wenders' 1988 cinematic masterpiece Wings of Desire. Directed by Brad Silberling (Casper), the film is a surprising visual and technical accomplishment. Silberling creates an array of breathtaking images of an angel-infested Los Angeles, and these stunning tableaus are certainly the highlight of the film. Nicolas Cage and Meg Ryan give able performances as the romantic leads, but the narrative really comes to life whenever fallen angel Dennis Franz steps onto the screen. However, this ultra-American adaptation lacks the compelling characters and original story line seen in the fantastically imaginative Wings of Desire. It's a tepid and formulaic mainstream love story that lacks a real sense of magic. While it does have a handful of memorable moments, the plot is too predictable and the climax is extremely manipulative. Those in search of a heavenly moviegoing experience may want to bypass this Hollywood recreation and watch Wim Wenders' celestial opus.
by Adam Goldberg review