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Published On: Mon, Feb 22nd, 2016

‘Risen’ is a classic journey to bring Christ’s story to life

The latest faith-based film from Affirm Films (Heaven is For Real, War Room), Risen, brings a historical and old school theme to the story of Jesus Christ. Unlike many of the “in your face” approaches, Risen returns to the 50’s style of Ben-Hur and other films where the journey is told through the eyes of an unbeliever and the meeting of Christ causes a life change.

Joseph Fiennes (Shakespeare in Love) stars as Clavius, a Roman soldier who returns from a bloody battle (the execution of Barabbas) to be dispatched by Pilate (Peter Firth) to ensure the crucifixion of Yeshua, a Jew who has created chaos between Roman partnership with the Sanhedrin.

Immediately Clavius is struck by the contradiction of Christ’s murder and execution, the mourning of his mother and then the shock of his missing body. Pilate assigns Lucius (Harry Potter star Tom Felton) to assist Clavius in locating Christ’s corpse.

Joseph Fiennes in RisenRisen navigates outside the framework of scripture, but maintains a story which fit between the rigid interpretations of Jesus’ return, appearing with the disciples and ultimately proving to be an influential force on Clavius.

Like most Christian films, the liberal critics despise the retelling of the events as depicted in the Bible, while praising moments which step outside of convention. Fear the Walking Dead star Cliff Curtis is an engaging Jesus (critics only focus on his ethnicity and not his performance) and Stephen Hagan’s Bartholomew gets a few laughs as he sounds like a surfer or 60’s love child and not the stoic disciple that some Christians may have envisioned.

Director and co-writer Kevin Reynolds must shoulder most of the blame for shortcomings in Risen. Fiennes never gets intense dialogue and is often asked to just share intensely. Felton is playing a version of Malfoy all over again and Stewart Scudamore’s Peter just never feels quite right.

Despite shortcomings, Risen is a major step forward, a great film for the Christian community and one that shouldn’t irritate the casual viewer with an intense sermon or message.

Those “liberal” critics love making comparisons to George Clooney’s character in Hail Caesar, so if that’s the case, ignore their review — they are so biased and can’t be objective to a Christian film. Risen has problems, a bloated ending, but delivers an interesting portrayal of the events surrounding the most important event in human history.

Risen receives 3 1/2 stars out of 5 stars

Risen movie poster Joseph Fiennes

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About the Author

- Writer and Co-Founder of The Global Dispatch, Brandon has been covering news, offering commentary for years, beginning professionally in 2003 on Crazed Fanboy before expanding into other blogs and sites. Appearing on several radio shows, Brandon has hosted Dispatch Radio, written his first novel (The Rise of the Templar) and completed the three years Global University program in Ministerial Studies to be a pastor. To Contact Brandon email [email protected] ATTN: BRANDON

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