|Ratings||UK: 12, USA: PG-13, Spain: 13|
|Source of story||A novel by Richard Ben Sapir|
|Starring||Antonio Banderas, Olivia Williams, John Shrapnel, Derek Jacobi, Jason Flemyng, Ian McNeice, Mohammad Bakri,|
|Ratings||IMDb: 5.4/10 by 8936 people. Rotten Tomatoes: 13% by 15 reviewers. Review2view: 5/10|
Elevator Pitch: When an archaeological dig in the centre of Jerusalem uncovers a male skeleton in a tomb showing all the signs of crucifixion, and hence might be the body of Jesus Christ, the Vatican dispatches a young priest, Matt Gutierrez, to investigate or, more directly, to determine that the body is not that of JC. Meanwhile a variety of different groups are showing interest, including Hasidic Jews, Palestinian terrorists and the Israeli government. Matt and the archaeologist in charge of the dig, Sharon Golban, a widow become close and when her children are kidnapped by the Palestinians things come to a head.
Content: No sex or nudity, or drinking or smoking or anything else to offend. Quite a bit of time spent with the archaeologist as she cautiously moves about in the tomb and looks at the bones with a torch (you would think they would have installed lighting). The priest has ominous meetings with a cardinal in the Vatican. Another priest commits suicide in Jerusalem. The Palestinians are a subversive presence as they try to find out what is going on. There is a gunfight in a ruined building in the desert.
A View: This is an odd film which must have had a very limited release since it cost quite a bit but made no money. I sort of went along with it since it allowed the priest to get close to the archaeologist, although I feel that actual intimacy was edited out. But whatever the film had going for it was lost in the completely naff finale. So regardless of one’s view of the religious significance of the discovery and the resulting drama this outing is worth a miss.
I was only able to find one film I have reviewed on a similar religious theme it is : Stigmata .