Paul, Apostle of Christ directed by Andrew Hyatt
A slumber inducing non violent brodown about two authors of The Bible.
I saw Passion of the Christ years ago on a row of TVs at a bar in San Francisco late with the sound off and subtitles on, and loud rock music playing. It still connected cinematically and even contextually slightly displaced, I thought it was a tremendous movie watching experience.
This is no Passion of the Christ.
The flick opened strong Jim Caviezel plays Luke dodging the roman popo in the era of Nero. It ushered the viewer into the mean streets of Roma, Christian corpses burned in the streets, Danger for the fledgling cult being persecuted. Any time a movie can pull you into a bygone historical era its a good sign. And the stuff early Christians had to deal with is rife with interesting conflict, stuff that might be well and truly interesting portrayed onscreen but in this turkey all that crap happens offscreen so they talk about what persecution is, rape, murder, being murdered by gladiators, in the Circus Maximus or by getting devoured by lions for the entertainment of the masses and the inner debate of what a Christian response should be, this could have been an interesting movie, but instead of portraying the situation on film the situations are discussed in whispers. long drawn out whispered conversations mostly set in a dungeon. Low whispered tones that go on for hours. The dramatic question asked apparently is, can Paul's unshakable faith remain unshakable?. Spoiler Alert. Yes.
Its really badly acted, and searingly boring. unrelentingly boring. I defy anyone to not fall asleep watching it. Joanne Whaley the actress I know mainly for being Val Kilmer's love interest in Willow but has had a whole career on English TV is in this. She tried to put some energy into it, and sort of failed, but she tried. And the Roman prison warden is played by Spanish Actor, Olivier Martinez, but...remember when Antonio Banderas really and truly couldn't speak English but he did anyway in movies for a year of two? Its like that but worse. He's the best performer in the movie.
The tile role is played by an old man with a white beard, James Faulkner, who was in Game of Thrones and Downton Abby. He tries to smolder, and emote and its not that it isn't a performance, its just not an authentically connected performance, nothing changes for the character. Its like the movie where nothing happens within the story. Its all conversation, or flashback or it happens offscreen, its super stagey too, its all between Caviezel's Luke and the old man Paul and its just really really not interesting.
It does make you realize how much of a cult this religion started out as. It could make you question your faith, or reexamine the basis for your ethics of non violence. I guess its meant to be a meditation but this movie actually becomes an act of self punishment.
From now on you can refer to me as your ecumenical counselor. Thumbs down! feed this movie to the lions! WWJD? Jesus would tell you to skip this one. He's your savior he would want you to save two hours of your life, For sure. and don't persecute religious minorities ya knuckleheads! Or do.