Cinema Dispatch: Risen


Risen and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Kevin Reynolds

Not two months into the new year and we’re already getting a glimpse at the horrors we will have to endure this year as the endless wave of religious propaganda infects the cinemas like a virus (one of the really bad ones like Ebola).  Still, I always maintain that you can make a good movie out of any subject matter including religion with Noah still being the benchmark for modern biblical epics.  This one, while being a produced by the same company that brought us War Room, at least doesn’t have the foul brand of Pure Flix on it and it does have some decent stars here like Cliff Curtis who could lend at least SOME credibility here.  Does this manage to be one of the better bible films since they came back in style, or do these movies suck no matter who they get to waste their time in it?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows a Roman Centurion named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) who works for Pontius Pilate during his time Judaea and we follow his story on the day that Christ is crucified.  Essentially playing as Pontius’s right hand man, Clavius is sent to ensure that Jesus (only referred to in this movie as Yeshua and played by Cliff Curtis) does indeed die on the cross and to ensure that his remains are entombed.  However, the high ranking Jewish officials (Rabbis I guess?) are concerned that someone will steal his body as to complete the supposed prophecy that he will rise after three days.  If the body disappears, then it will cause unrest in the city as his believers will feel their faith in his is affirmed.  Sure enough, the two bumbling guards they post at the tomb (no seriously, they’re straight up cartoonish in this) fail in their duty and the tomb is found to be empty.  It’s up to Clavius to find that body to make sure that there is proof that he did not indeed rise from the dead and that this all the work of conspirators.  Of course, if you’ve read the book then you know that isn’t the case and Clavius has one hell of a surprise waiting for him!  Will he be able to find Yeshua’s corpse (alive or dead) before Pontius throws a hissy fit?  What will Clavius do if he discovers that a man really has been brought back to life?  Is it possible that we have a Faith Based movie that ISN’T completely awful!?

“Have you seen Jesus?  I’m trying to find him.”     “Aren’t we all?”     “Alright smartass; that’s thirty days in the stocks for you!”

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