Risen – Where’s The Action? – Review
Joseph Fiennes stars as Clavius – the leader of Roman military forces occupying Jerusalem during the time of Jesus Christ. Upon returning from battle, he is ordered by Pontius Pilate to oversee the crucifixion of Christ because his followers are causing an uprising in the city. Believing he has carried out his task, Clavius returns to headquarters, and soon finds himself in the middle of a great political struggle.
Before the crucifixion, Jesus told his followers he would resurrect in three days, so Clavius has been sent to seal the tomb to prove the religious figure is a mere man, and not the son of God.
When the body disappears from the tomb, Clavius must go on a manhunt to find him, but what will he find instead?
Writer/director Kevin Reynolds and co-writer Paul Aiello need to figure out what Risen is supposed to be, or was it the marketing team that didn’t understand the appeal of the movie?
Sold as an action/thriller about a dogged search for a missing man who is inspiring the poor and downtrodden to rise up in revolt, Risen doesn’t live up to the trailers and commercials you have been watching for a few months.
The movie is more like a dull episode of Law and Order as Clavius goes on to interrogate those who believe they have seen Christ among them, spoken to him or know where to find his followers. However, it becomes much more interesting as Reynolds takes the focus off the search and puts it on how it is impacting Clavius.
At that moment, Risen becomes the movie the faithful and dedicated want, and a movie about something, rather than going through motions. It becomes about a man who is transforming because of his experience and what he witnesses with his own eyes, but it takes so long to get there, you have to wonder if anyone is still engaged enough when we do arrive at that story.
Fiennes is doing his best to make Clavius a complicated, troubled character as he shows us how the man is having a resurrection of his soul. It’s a strong performance as we see the metamorphosis of a killer into a person seeking peace and love.
Risen is flat.
2 Waffles (Out of 4)
Risen is rated PG-13 for Biblical violence including some disturbing images.