Film Review: ‘Risen’

Joseph Fiennes plays a Roman soldier investigating the mystery of Jesus grave that is empty in this New Testament noir that is literate but creaky.
Whether or not it activates a craze for divinely inspired detective stories, “Risen” makes an adequate claim for itself as the “Columbo” of the genre: It Is amiable, creaky rather than remotely predicated on the part of surprise. Place in the times following the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, this enjoyably plodding New Testament noir follows a Roman soldier who, under orders from Pontius Pilate, sets out to solve the puzzle of the lost Messiah — just to comprehend, long after most audience will, that he’s in fact playing a vital part in the Greatest Story Ever Retold. By dint of view and its uncommon timeframe, Kevin Reynolds’ movie takes on a lighter, more lively tone than most Hollywood biblical epics, mostly steering away from heavy handed dramatics and pageantry as it tells a slow moving narrative of spiritual awakening. Sony ‘s pre-Easter launch is not likely to ascend to the top echelons of religion-based commercially, culturally or film.

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