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The Passion Of The Christ (2004)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Genres:
Drama, Religious Drama
Director:
Mel Gibson Mel Gibson
Starring:
Jim Caviezel Jim Caviezel
Maia Morgenstern Maia Morgenstern
Christo Jivkov Christo Jivkov
Francesco De Vito Francesco De Vito
Monica Bellucci Monica Bellucci

5.7 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by Chad
Added: August 30, 2004
This movie follows the last twelve hours of Jesus's life, starting up with Judas betraying Jesus by telling the Roman governor Pontius Pilate where he's hiding out at in exchange for thirty pieces of silver. The guards hunted Jesus down and captured him, and took him before the governor who sentenced him to die after the insistence of the Jewish crowd. For the last half of the movie, we witness Jesus being whipped, beaten, and made to drag his cross through the streets until finally, he's crucified.

I think it might be best if I clarify something right from the start of this review. I am not a Christian, nor do I believe in the whole fairy tale of Jesus and such. I watched this movie not as some sort of religious experience, but as just another movie with a bowl of popcorn. I'm not going to get into the whole historical accuracy side of things, as I really don't fancy myself as an expert on the subject. I'm also not one to bash on other people's religion and to go on about how stupid the whole idea is; otherwise, I wouldn't have spent the two hours watching this film. So then, if my opinion there is the opposite of your own personal opinion, you might as well click another link or exit this page.

That's about it for the storyline up above, not much else to witness here. Things move along extremely slow in the movie, with the main focus of the film being the beating and torture of Jesus. No nifty subplots, no surprises here; though, this movie is kind of like the Titanic, in that you know how it's going to end, but it should still be interesting regardless. There was a ton of hype surrounding this movie regarding the violence and gore shown here, so I thought that that aspect of it would be pretty entertaining at least; sadly, the people who hyped up all the bloodshed must have never seen a decent gore-oriented horror film in their time. I will admit that the effects used for some of the scenes were nicely done, but there was really nothing original here, and plenty of scenes that had been done better in other movies. With all the hype surrounding this, I was expecting some seriously great gore effects and scenes, but I came away quite disappointed in that regard.

Another thing that bugged me was the way the dialogue was handled here. Now, I have no problems with the fact that ol' Gibson decided to have everyone speak in Aramaic and that the lines were subtitled... I've watched plenty of subtitled Japanese movies in my time, so I'm quite used to reading along throughout the movie. No sir, the problem here is the fact that more than half of the lines in the film aren't subtitled at all; entire conversations and even entire scenes go by without a single translation, leaving us to just use our imagination to figure out what's happening. When the guy responsible for typing up the subtitles does decide to do his job, we're treated to a small white font that comes on over-top of the film, not in a letterbox type of setup. This leaves the text barely readable in a fair number of scenes. Combine that with the aforementioned lack of subtitles, and you're left with a movie that is pretty much a guessing game throughout. James Caviezel (Jesus), the obvious star of the movie, did a decent enough job in his role, though throughout most of the running time he just had to look like he was hurting or scream a bit. Not much of a deep role, but I suppose it fit with the movie.

Overall, I'm sure this would be much better if I was a devout Christian, but alas, I'm not. If you're looking for a decent film to watch, look for something else and wait until this one hits your local Sunday school, you'll be thankful for the cash that you saved. 3/10.
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MrDerp #1: MrDerp - added 12/31/2004, 06:48 PM
Haha I remember the South Park with Mel Gibson in it.
johnny_t19 #2: johnny_t19 - added 01/23/2005, 06:56 PM
whats that have to do with the Passion?
I disagree with this review completely. you can get subtitles on the whole movie. obviously the reviewer doesn know how to work a DVD player... but then it might be harder for those still with VHS. Mel does a great job of adding simple, yet effective parts to the scriptures and the gore was perfectly fine.. they might've gotten carried away a little bit but it was nothing that can be easily handled.
Chad #3: Chad - added 01/23/2005, 09:12 PM
If you had read my comments clearly, you'd have seen that I did indeed mention that the subtitles were there, but missing in a number of scenes. I've yet to see a movie where one has to choose a setting to show subtitles in every scene, as opposed to the default of whenever they feel like popping up. Regardless of the wonderful subtitling job, the score stands in my opinion. Yet another over-hyped, big-budget, waste of a movie.
Crispy #4: Crispy - added 03/22/2005, 03:42 AM
Johny you , for lack of a better word, chastised "they might have gotten carried away a bit" with the gore. Meanwhile, MMMDI was saying he didnt feel it was gory ENOUGH. Or am I the only one to find that amusing....however, delayed it was...
chad _isnt_fat #5: chad _isnt_fat - added 07/22/2005, 09:49 AM
now look if ur really religious GET A FUCKIN LIFE NOW! christ is a figment of sum guy on cracks imagination. nuthin HAPPENED
Crispy #6: Crispy - added 08/08/2005, 09:11 AM
A very compelling and thought out argument you got there.
BuryMeAlive #7: BuryMeAlive - added 02/11/2006, 10:28 AM
I found this movie slow and boring, and it's just Jesus getting puched around for 2 hours. So if you want to see a guy get beat up for 2 hours, then this is the movie for you... If not, watch something else... or read the book, if you are into fantasy.
Ginose #8: Ginose - added 12/21/2006, 12:01 AM
I found this movie a tad boring... gore is great when used appropriately. Ehhh... all around I thought the book was much batter. Still, Gibson isn't a bad director. I appreciate his attempt here but... ah well... 5.7/10
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