I’ve seen Greek and Norse mythology transposed into the sci-fi format, but rarely have I seen the Bible get the same treatment, and ever rarer a good one. Angel Wars: Guardian Force was sitting there on the Wal-Mart shelf and I was curious how well they did. I picked up the first episode and I wish I had grabbed episode 2 when I had the chance, but this was darn good.

Angel Wars: Guardian Force episode 1

FORMAT: DVD
PRODUCED BY: TeleStory Toons LLC
DISTRIBUTOR: EMI Christian Music Group, although later episodes are released by Twentieth Century Fox
RELEASE DATE: 2004
 
http://www.angelwars.com


Angel Wars takes the concept of Heaven vs. Hell and puts a high-tech spin on things. The series follows apprentice angels Eli and Kira as they work to earn their wings and secretly protect humanity from temptation to do wrong and harm themselves or others. Since the angels and “fallen spirits” battle unseen by human eyes (existing pretty much out of phase with the real world) they don’t interact with the humans they protect or destroy respectively, at least most of the time, temptation comes in the form of whispering into their ears and coaxing them to do wrong, and steering them away from that path is done the same way. When the two sides do engage in physical combat they pass through objects and people but sometimes are still bound by walls and gravity (which they can’t ignore unlike the walls).

Elevator music on an angel spaceship must be fantastic.

Eli is brash, but good with a sword and gadgets (at least in this episode where he uses holographic duplicates) while Kira is more levelheaded, but loyal to her friend. Since they don’t have wings they use winged boards to fly and wear what appears to be high-tech armor. They hope one day to earn their wings as full-fledged angels but Eli is too ready to rush into battle while Kira is too beholden to the rules, like your typical buddy cop movie. The two work together very well, balancing each other, at least in later episodes I’ve seen on TV. Here we can tell their friends but their teamwork needs some more practice.

The full list of bonus features on the DVD. {click for full-size image}

If you haven’t guessed by now this is a Christian production, and features music by Christian rock artists like Sanctus Real, Kutless and one of my favorite groups, the Newsboys (although I haven’t listed to a lot from the group’s current members thanks to time) among others. Special features on this disk include music videos by some of the groups whose music is featured. There are also character bios, a how-to-draw feature and a preview for the next episode. That’s a lot of decent features for a low-budget direct-to-video series. Additionally, the character models are good, the visuals of the futuristic city and the angels’ ship are fantastic for the style as are the flying sequences.

If you want a good sci-fi action show for kids (or kids at heart like me) that doesn’t hit them over the head with a Christian theme but delivers a great entertaining story with Christian elements I can recommend this video and what sequels I have seen. I hope to get all three episodes and the follow-up movie, “The Messenger”, to review on my other site if my budget ever allows for it. However, this site is about going through my collection and deciding what to and not to keep. Suffice to say that this will not be leaving my collection anytime soon.

Bonus: a clip from early in the episode

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