paul, the apostle of christ
Director: ANDREW HYATT (FULL OF GRACE, THE FROZEN)
Starring: JIM CAVIEZEL, JAMES FAULKNER, OLIVIER MARTINEZ, AND JOANNE WHALLEY
REVIEWER: Lyall Carter
Risking his life, Luke ventures to Rome to visit Paul - the apostle who's bound in chains and held captive in Nero's darkest and bleakest prison cell.
Big, Biblical productions were almost a thing of Hollywood past. Until a little film, The Passion of the Christ; with Mel Gibson, its Hollywood star director and with all of its controversy, rolled into cinemas. Confounding Hollywood, Passion was a box office smash raking in over 600 million and a sequel in the works.
Hollywood smelled money and the big epics accompanied with big stars like Russell Crowe, Christian Bale, and Emma Watson, were produced. But both Noah and Exodus: Gods and Kings flopped at the box office. There were multiple reasons why they did but one of the main complaints from the faithful was that both films strayed too far away from the source material.
Paul, The Apostle of Christ has the opposite problem - it sticks way too close to its Scriptural source with James Faulkner rattling off quotes from the historical figure Paul that he is playing.
Paul, The Apostle of Christ begins with Luke entering Rome to visit the Christian community who are facing increased persecution and to visit Paul, a teacher and leader of the Christian faith, who is in prison facing death at the hands of Emperor Nero. Luke convinces Paul to allow him to write down his life story and that of the ventures of the early church.
Jim Caviezel is solid as Luke the physician and one of the central characters of the story. James Faulkner who plays Paul, the other central character is great as the stoic, wise, yet tormented former persecutor of the Christian believers.
On the production side the costumes, set dressing, and locations are all on point and give the audience the sense that they are being swept back in time to the Roman empire.
But unfortunately its the story that doesn't always work, relying to heavily on direct quotes from Scripture as character dialogue which seems not to ring true.
Paul, The Apostle of Christ has its good moments, but using direct quotes from scripture as dialogue is ultimately its downfall.