“Risen” a great concept, but hindered by lax storytelling
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Risen, released Feb. 15, follows a roman military tribune named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) as he and his aide Lucius (Tom Felton) scramble to find the disappeared body of Jesus Christ to prevent a revolt in Jerusalem.
Risen is quite an interesting take on the resurrection of Christ as it is told through the eyes of a man who has been tasked to disprove the rumor that Jesus has indeed risen. This allows the film to become more than a retelling of the well-known biblical story. The manhunt itself is exhilarating, and the film boasts lavish sets, an entertaining script, and a notable performance from Joseph Fiennes, whose character of Clavius steals the show. Cliff Curtis’ portrayal of Christ is one of the best to date, as he succeeds in being loving and amiable without coming off as conceited.
However, the movie completely flips on its head. Without delving into spoilers, the plot becomes much more tedious and drifts for the rest of the runtime after the manhunt is resolved around halfway through the film. While the message of Risen is a cheerful and optimistic one, it is routine and hearing it again is not particularly enthralling. The film also goes on way too long, dragging its unique idea through the dirt as a result.
Risen is a step above most religious films. It retells a famous story through from the perspective of a non-believer, allowing it to encapsulate the wonder of the resurrection that other versions may lose. However, only half of the movie works like this, with the rest of it becoming monotonous and repetitive, thus hindering a great concept from fully spreading its wings.