Review: 'Risen' a religious crime procedural


RISEN: 2 STARS

"Risen" is an odd movie that sits somewhere in between pious and pop culture. Not since "Jesus Christ Superstar" fused the bible with a backbeat has a Christian film mixed-and-matched the spiritual with the secular in such an audacious manner.

See Full Article

Part bible story, part police procedural, for much of the movie it plays like "Law & Order: Jerusalem."

Told from the point-of-view of nonbelieving Roman centurion Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), the action in "Risen" really begins three days after the crucifixion of Christ (Cliff Curtis) and covers the Resurrection. Judaea prefect Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth), concerned that the recently crucified Nazarene’s followers have stolen his body and will claim he has risen from the dead, orders Clavius to "find the corpse of the cursed Yeshua before it rots."

Risen film review

Clavius is a hard-bitten warrior, growing weary of the fight. He dreams of a "day without travail; with peace."

Maybe so, but before that time comes he must launch a "CSI" style investigation into Yeshua’s disappearance with Pilot’s words—"Without a corpse we might have a messiah."—ringing in his ears.

His relentless search uncovers several unexplainable clues—he writes off the Shroud of Turin as an imprint left by "sweat and herbs"—that eventually turn him from someone who "sees delusions to keep a crusade alive" to a follower of Christ.

"Risen" works best when it is in procedural mode.

Like "The Robe" and other biblical films that use scripture as a backdrop for a different kind of story, "Risen" feels like two different movies. The first half is a thriller, a detective story complete with interrogations and observation of suspects. When it changes into a more traditional faith based story, however, it becomes less interesting. It’s respectful to the source material and Fiennes is fine in both roles—the dutiful soldier and early adopter of Yeshua’s teachings—but it feels frontloaded in the first hour.

Risen film review

"Risen" isn’t exactly a religious movie. It’s more a spiritual story about a man who learns how to find the peace he has always craved through Christ’s teachings. The messaging is strong, but this is more the tale of a man’s change of heart set against the backdrop of the beginning of Christianity than it is a bible story.

It’s about faith and the strength of belief, but is flawed by inconsistent dialogue style—it ranges from sword-and-sandal formality to modern day vernacular—and the limitations of a low budget that prevents any truly miraculous visions.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Warner Bros. previews D.C.'s Justice League at Comic-Con as Affleck shuts down exit rumours

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN DIEGO — Ben Affleck is still Batman. The actor shot down rumours that he would be hanging up his cape for the stand-alone Batman film, even though he recently ceded directing responsibilities. Speaking to a crowd of about 6,500 fans at San Diego Comic-Con, Affleck unequivocally assured the crowd that he is still starring in “The Batman. Source
  • Marvel Studios teases new ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ trailer in return to Asgard

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Marvel Studios is taking moviegoers back to Asgard in the latest rendition of the Thor franchise. Saturday night at San Diego Comic-Con, fans got a new sneak peek at the third installment of the Thor franchise titled ‘Thor: Ragnarok’. Source
  • New 'Stranger Things' Season 2 trailer released

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    SAN DIEGO — The creators of “Stranger Things” premiered a trailer for the show’s second season at Comic-Con on Saturday that was so new, even the cast hadn’t seen it. The Duffer Bros. were joined by director Shawn Levy and stars Millie Bobby Brown, Matthew Modine and the crew of young actors who play a group of friends searching for their buddy who mysteriously disappears. Source
  • Wonder Woman 2 confirmed at San Diego's Comic-Con

    Entertainment CBC News
    After smashing box office records this year, Wonder Woman received the loudest cheers among the DC superheroes gathered on Saturday at San Diego's annual Comic-Con to present new footage and trailers for Warner Bros' expanding comic book film franchise. Source
  • Ben Affleck addresses rumours that he's out as Batman

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO - Ben Affleck says he is still Batman and has the support of Warner Bros for the stand-alone film. Affleck addressed rumours that he would not be appearing as the caped crusader past "Justice League" this November Saturday at Comic-Con in San Diego. Source
  • Ben Affleck to fans: I'm still Batman, despite rumours

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO -- Ben Affleck is still Batman. The actor shot down rumours that he would be hanging up his cape for the stand-alone Batman film, even though he recently ceded directing responsibilities. Speaking to a crowd of about 6,500 fans at San Diego Comic-Con, Affleck unequivocally assured the crowd that he is still starring in "The Batman. Source
  • Spielberg debuts action-packed 'Ready Player One' footage

    Entertainment CTV News
    SAN DIEGO - Steven Spielberg dives into the world of virtual reality in his adaptation of "Ready Player One." The director unveiled action- and nostalgia-packed footage from the film Saturday at San Diego Comic-Con. The 6,500-person Hall H crowd gave the director a standing ovation and cheered heartily when the first images from the dystopian future world came up on screen, and even more so when The Iron Giant popped up. Source
  • Ben Affleck refutes rumours that he's out as Batman

    Entertainment CBC News
    Ben Affleck says he is still Batman and has the support of Warner Bros. for the stand-alone film. Affleck addressed rumours at Comic-Con in San Diego, Calif. Saturday that he would not be appearing as the caped crusader past Justice League this November. Source
  • 'Home Alone' dad John Heard dead at 71

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Home Alone star John Heard has died at the age of 72. Police were called to a Palo Alto, California hotel on Friday to investigate a report of a medical emergency, but the actor was pronounced dead at the scene, according to TMZ.com. Source
  • 'It'll say things about today': Denis Villeneuve teases Blade Runner 2049

    Entertainment CBC News
    Canadian director Denis Villeneuve had fended off numerous requests to direct big-budget sequels until he was approached to make a follow-up to Ridley Scott's 1982 neo-noir sci-fi film Blade Runner. "I accepted to do Blade Runner because it was meaningful," Villeneuve, the director of last year's cerebral alien sci-fi film Arrival, told Reuters Saturday in San Diego, Calif. Source