Who's In It: Anthony Hopkins, Colin O'Donoghue, Rutger Hauer, Alice Braga, Ciaran Hinds
The Basics: Colin O'Donoghue plays Michael Kovak, a timid kid whose choices in life are either to join in his father's funeral business or become a priest. Ultimately, he chooses absolving people of their sins rather than covering them up with pancake makeup. There's only one small problem--he's pretty sure he doesn't believe in God, the Devil, or any of that Catholicism stuff. Oops! But when he finds out that if he doesn't become an ordained priest the seminary has the option of making his 100k scholarship a loan, he quickly accepts a mission to become an exorcist. Away he goes to Rome where he meets Father Luke (Anthony Hopkins) and has his lack of faith tested.
What's The Deal: I knew we were in trouble when I noticed that this film was "suggested by the book" written by Matt Baglio. Is that like the movie Car Wash is "suggested by the ad in the paper" by the LA Times? Directed by Mikael Hafstrom, who ruffled our feathers with the creepy mind-bender 1408, this film is a total yawn fest. I actually found myself going gosh, it's already 845PM, mama needs to be in BED! I had been looking forward to this film because I love watching guys with soulful bedroom eyes question their faith (and that collar really seals the deal), but this film had little more to it than O'Donoghue looking like a sad, godless puppy and Anthony Hopkins working overtime to entertain. For a man of such advanced age as himself, Sir Anthony does an impressive amount of heavy lifting here and makes the last 20 minutes of the movie way more fun to watch than anything preceding it.
Praise The Lord: Since this movie was so exhausting, I took an extra amount of joy in the brief jolts of electricity I saw--namely the random violence and weird jokes. Although I know that bastions of religion are people too, I found these moments so out of place that they made the movie way more interesting. Father Luke gets to throw frogs into stove fires, slaps the living daylights out of a little girl, and later he awkwardly asks his new friends to "say a couple Hail Mary's for this old sinner." Also providing some action to the movie was Alice Braga, who spends yet ANOTHER movie getting smacked around by her male co-stars (ahem, Will Smith in I Am Legend). Let's get this girl some Hollywood movies where she actually has something to do besides be a sexy punching bag.
He's Not Just a Pair of Rain-Soaked Boxer Briefs: Rutger Hauer, who plays creepy mortician dad Istvan, is the man to watch this year. He's come a long way from Blade Runner where he darts around future Los Angeles in his underpants. Here, his few scenes are thoroughly disturbing and serve as great motivation for his kid being a total mess. For instance, I have never fancied the idea of a man painting my fingernails. In one scene, Hauer both confirms my wariness and challenges it--if any man was gonna lacquer me up, I would want it to be him. I focused on that point a little too long and missed some blah-blah-blah that followed the scene about a demon taking over something-or-other. Anyway, this film made me excited for Hobo With A Shotgun's release this year. Oh right, what was I talking about?