MOVIE: * (out of 5)
BLU-RAY EXPERIENCE: **1/2 (out of 5)
BY KEVIN CARR
WHAT IT’S ABOUT
Heath Ledger stars as Alex Bernier, a maverick priest who is sent to Rome to investigate the death of an excommunicated member of the order. He learns the dead priest was visited by a Sin Eater – someone who can literally consume the sins of a person about to die to ensure passage to heaven. When he starts investigating further, Father Bernier uncovers a dangerous conspiracy surrounding the church which threatens his faith and the power structure of the Vatican.
WHAT I LIKED
Like any fan of horror films over the years, I always like a good religious thriller. Classics like “The Omen” or “The Exoricst” have pre-disposed me to get excited about any film that juxtaposes the good of the church against an agent of evil. On the surface, “The Order” has everything in place – from the cast to the set design to the locations to the concept of a Sin Eater.
This is to say, I liked the set-up of “The Order” quite a bit, and from a technical perspective, it’s not a bad film. The problems are all in the plot and characters, so read on…
WHAT I DIDN’T LIKE
Although well-acted by director Brian Helgeland’s stars from “A Knight’s Tale,” “The Order” is an effort to get through. There are some fantastic concepts, but they are presented in the most convoluted and careless manner. I never remotely connected with Heath Ledger’s character, even when he went through his toughest trials, questioning his faith and finding his loved ones in danger.
The best part of the film is the Sin Eater himself, who we are introduced to in the beginning, but he doesn’t make an appearance until the mid-way point. By then, I was so bored with the characters and their aimless meandering through the story that I had lost interest.
And even when we really start to delve into the concept of the Sin Eater – which should have been the focus of the film in the first place – it’s supported by a messy and cheap looking digital effect.
Near the end of my viewing of this movie, I realized I had seen this before, a memory triggered by a discussion of the sunflower by Shannyn Sossamon’s character. However, I had all but forgotten the entire movie. Even now, I’m forgetting it, and I just watched it the other day.
Yes, suffice to say that “The Order” is forgettable.
The Blu-ray comes with the imported features from the DVD, which includes a commentary by Brian Helgeland and about a half-hour of deleted scenes, which also include the director’s commentary.
WHO’S GOING TO LIKE THIS MOVIE