The Archangel Michael (Paul Bettany) falls to Earth in Los Angeles and cuts off his wings. He steals weapons and a police car and drives to the Paradise Falls Diner (!) in the Mojave Desert. Kyle Williams (Tyrese Gibson), a single father on the way to a custody hearing about his son, also stops there. The owner, Bob Hanson (Dennis Quaid), his son Jeep (Lucas Black), a pregnant waitress named Charlie (Adrienne Palicki) whom Jeep is in love with, and a wounded military veteran short-order cook named Percy (Charles S. Dutton) also work there. Customers include Howard and Sandra Anderson (Jon Tenney and Kate Walsh) and their teenage daughter Audrey (Willa Holland).

The TV, radio, and telephone fail. An old lady named Gladys Foster (Jeanette Miller) comes in and acts in a hostile manner. She bites Howard on the neck, walks on the ceiling for a while, and Kyle shoots her. A huge swarm of flies blocks their path, and they cannot bring Howard to the hospital. Archangel Michael arrives and arms the patrons. The sky turns black and hundreds of cars approach, filled with demonically possessed people. Michael leads the defense, but Howard is dragged away. It seems that God has lost faith in mankind and sent his angels to destroy the human race. Michael insists that Charlie’s baby must live to become the savior of mankind. Michael was sent to kill the child, but he has disobeyed God.

The next morning, Howard is crucified behind the diner and covered with boils. Sandra tries to rescue him, but he explodes into acid. Percy dies shielding Sandra from the blast. She loses her mind. A report on the radio speaks of pockets of resistance, including one nearby. Michael advises the patrons not to go there. That night, a second wave of demons attacks. Kyle is lured into a trap and killed, and Charlie goes into labor. Audrey and Michael help deliver the baby. Trumpets announce the arrival of the Archangel Gabriel (Kevin Durand). Sandra breaks her bonds and tries to give the baby to the demons, but Michael executes her. Gabriel comes in and fatally wounds Bob. Michael tells the group to escape and tells Jeep to find the prophets and read the instructions.

The demons cannot approach the baby. The party leaves in the stolen police cruiser. Gabriel and Michael fight to a standstill but Gabriel stabs Michael in the chest. Michael dies and disappears. Bob uses his lighter to ignite the gas line in the diner destroying the demons outside. Jeep is now covered in drawings, like Michael. The tattoos, he thinks, are the instructions. Gabriel appears again and Audrey is killed in a car crash. Gabriel corners the escapees in the mountains, but Michael descends on new wings and defeats Gabriel. The angels have been tested and Gabriel has failed. Michael flies away, anointing Jeep as the savior’s protector. Charlie, Jeep, and the baby drive off in a vehicle full of weapons.

The film was directed by Scott Stewart, co-written by him and Peter Schink, produced by David Lancaster and Michel Litvak. Critics panned the film, but it inspired a TV series called Dominion on the Syfy Network four years later. Doug Jones as the demonic ice-cream man was possibly the best thing in the movie. Paul Bettany, the Archangel Michael, is an atheist and Dennis Quaid, who plays an atheist, is a Christian. Jeep drives off in a Jeep Wagoneer. I love to see winged angels in the movies and find references to the fall of the angels fascinating. This has some wonderful demonic creatures and some portentous speeches, but it is mostly gunfire and not that magical.