Today’s Prayer Focus


Reviewed by: Dawn Cole

Moral Rating: Extremely Offensive
Moviemaking Quality:
Primary Audience: Teens Adults
Genre: Comedy/Fantasy
Length: 106 min.
Year of Release: 1997
USA Release:
Featuring John Travolta, Andie MacDowell
Director G. Mac Brown

Why the Low Ratings?
To most Christians the word “angel” evokes images of beauty and holiness, a spiritual being bringing feelings of comfort and love reflected from our heavenly Father. John Travolta portrays Michael, the archangel, as a dirty, hairy, ill-mannered, beer-drinking, smoking sleaze. The story is very slow and dull with few interesting twists in the plot. Swear words, illicit sex, and the chanting of Jesus' name in a sacrilegious way are other areas of concern.

“Michael”, the story, unfolds in Iowa as three tabloid reporters and a dog named Sparkey go to investigate a claim that a woman named Pansy has an angel living with her. Their boss in Chicago wants to make big bucks exploiting this angel.

After meeting Michael the angel, the reporters are intrigued and believe! When Pansy suddenly dies the reporters and Michael strike a deal. If they will show him some tourist sites, he will cooperate with them and go to Chicago for the big write-up in the tabloid papers. This is Michael’s last trip to Earth, and he wants to take in the sights.

Frank and Dorothy, the two unmarried reporters, get interested in each other and end up sleeping together. This seems to be one of Michael’s jobs, to bring these two hard hearted reporters together. (Can you think of any time in Scripture where an angel encouraged sin?)

As the days wear on during their journey to Chicago, Michael seems to be losing his strength and the feathers from his wings. The more feathers he looses, the weaker he gets. He finally dies (angels don’t die) in front of the Sears tower in Chicago. His wings fold over him and he disappears. Frank and Dorothy don’t seem to be sure of their love for each other, and after Michael comes back to Earth (hey, I thought he said that was his last visit!) bringing Dorothy into Frank’s arms, he and Pansy return to heaven, dancing all the way.

Some important observations and comments:

  1. Travolta degrades God’s messengers. His portrayal of Michael could not have been an angel of light, but rather an angel of darkness. Only fallen angels (demons) are so crude and disgusting.

  2. In one scene Huey questions how Michael’s wings are attached. Michael responds, “Why don’t you pull on your pecker and see how it’s attached.”

  3. Women are sexually attracted to Michael and refer to him as having a sweet odor, that gets stronger when he’s in “heat.”

  4. A waitress stays with him in his room all night, implying that she had sex with him.

  5. Michael smokes cigarettes, drinks beer, dances, scratches his groin in front of others, and fights in a barroom brawl. Michael also claims to be the writer of Psalm 85. Need I say more?

Save your money on this one. Avoid it. Please don’t sanction its viewing by your children or teenagers either. Is this the image of an angelic heavenly being which you want to be responsible for implanting in their minds?

I see this movie as just another of Satan’s strategies to make us believe that Heaven and the beings who live there, are not so great. Angels are agents of God’s will, filling heaven with worship and praise! Satan would like us to think of Michael in this way instead of as the enormously powerful archangel that did battle with him and cast him out of Heaven, down to Earth (Revelation 12:7-9). We should respect Angels enough to stay away from this film. Michael is the powerful archangel, given a special place in heaven, living in the presence of God the Father.

Q & A

For more information on the Biblical view on angels, see:

What does the Bible teach us about angels?

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Viewer Comments
My wife and I have some Christian friends who said this movie was completely hysterical. The ads for it alone were enough for us to stay away from it. It is so nice to see Christians who would rather not watch a movie they know to be contradictory to scripture, rather than watching it then running here to give it a faulty review. I wish more Christians showed that kind of discipline.
Stoney G deGeyter
“Michael” seems to be a misunderstood movie to Christians. I could see at once that this was a *fallen* angel, so of course he would encourage sins, lie about who he really was and about writing the Psalms. The real reason why this story line works is not because Michael is an angel but that he has human failings, even dying as humans would do. Michael does not behave as any angel would normally be portrayed in a movie and neither does he do what Hollywood typically shows of demons (possession, destruction, extreme violence, etc.) I’m sure the New Agers have plenty to do with this new story slant. I don’t see it as trying to teach anything—just a good story about humanity.
Carolyn Dill
I agree—a slow, tedious, but worst of all, terribly flawed movie. It seems to me that Travolta was not portraying Hollywood’s version of an angel—he was portraying our culture’s wish for a fairy godmother: someone who can have “all the fun and none of the responsibility.” The “angel/godmother” gets to do it all, and, per usual, the immediate thrill is an Earthly pleasure that would be “sinful” not to appreciate and enjoy. I think one of the (banal) points of the film was that we are supposed to enjoy the good things of this world. While I would agree with the concept (fine; Biblical; theologically sound…) it seems to me that almost EVERY movie out of Hollywood is trying to convey that message! Nothing original here! Michael’s crude and tacky behavior is one thing… but the casual sex, mindless violence, and shallow spirituality is most bothersome. What a waste of time!
John Overman, age 33
If we are to be salt and light to this world, (perhaps it would help to put) a little more of a positive spin on things? …there is a good possibility that the people who made (this film) have’nt a clue (of the truths of Christianity). Instead of (or at least, in addition to) complaining about this film to other Christians, why not write a detailed letter to the movie studio explaining, (in love), the error of their ways. It couldn’t hurt!
Bill, age 31
Whatever its biblical heresies, Michael was an awfully boring movie. The one idea it had was to imagine “what if angels were more like us” than we usually think. This idea became tiresome early in Travolta’s shtick, and by the time he raised the doggie from the dead I couldn’t stand the sight of him. In my opinion, the only reason this movie was made was that some producer managed to sign red-hot Travolta to a script (any script would do) that would let him look cute. Thanks for reading.
Joe Brewer, age 33
I (unfortunately) went to see this when it first came out. The story line was poor and boring, and I was repulsed and angered by the way all Biblical references were perverted.
Brian Kayser, age 21
I haven’t seen the movie and don’t have to. 1996 was a “great” year for my least favorite actor John Travolta to (a) promote humanism and his Church of Scientology in “Phenomenon” and (b) slam and mix the Christian faith by playing an angel who goes against everything that makes sense about God and angels…
Michael C., age 15
The “angel” film… boils down to another skewed view of Biblical perspectives. …My main problem with this film, as I’m sure most Christians might notice, is the sin that Micheal is involved with, most notably having sex. Jesus Christ has absolutely no part in this film, including the miracles that Micheal performs. In the end we have a very “new agey” view of an angelic visitation. It seems the makers of Michael picked out the parts of biblical truth that they liked and chuncked the rest. So… what’s new?!
Andrew Siems
The ads were enough to keep me away. The thought of Michael portrayed in this fashion makes me (both) angry and sad at the same time. I encouraged anyone who cared to ask me what I thought to stay away (and please don’t be tempted to rent it at the video store).
Steve Ulrich, age 38