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Discussion in 'Movies' started by Elbert Lee, Sep 8, 2003.
Subject says all. Anyone seen this?
The reason you can't find a review is because the studio didn't screen it for the reviewers which probably speaks volumes about the quality of the film. The Dog Pound is that way...........
Science Fiction weekly (scifi.com/sfw) actually gives it a decent grade (B).
from Studio Briefing:
MOVIE REVIEWS: THE ORDER
Ordinarily when a studio decides not to show a film to critics, the critics go anyway, standing in line and buying their tickets at the box office and filing their reviews for publication over the weekend or on Monday. But the 20th Century Fox religious thriller The Order, starring Heath Ledger, attracted few critics from the major newspapers. Those who did see it gave it the expected pans. "A crackpot religious-romantic thriller, riddled with grandiose utterances and ooky-spooky special effects," wrote Jan Stuart in Newsday. Manohla Dargis commented in the Los Angeles Times: "A narrative and visual muddle, the film ... fails on a very high order." Stephen Holden in the New York Times called it "a movie so entranced by its own bogus solemnity that most of what passes for conversation is language warped into the heavy-breathing pontification of prophecy delivered in thudding Charlton Heston-style cadences." Wesley Morris in the Boston Globe summed it up as "a stupendous bore."
There are 34 reviews here:
A brief review for you.
I finally committed to seeing the Order. While not a Ledger fan, I was a fan of the writer/director, so I wanted to see what he was able to come up with. However, I saw little in the premise or the trailers to be interested.
As a non-spoiler summation, this is an odds little movie that has several really broken things and a few bright points. It suffers from pointless special effects and occurrences made only more bizarre because the characters dismiss them immediately.
The movie opens with Ledger investigating the death of his mentor, which leads him to track down a little known supernatural entity. Along the way, he grapples with questions of faith, love, and his long term role in the universe (which unfortunately is par for the course for movies like this).
From a high level standpoint, this movie looks like it would really offer something. However, the movie goes out of its way to sabotage itself by throwing on tons and tons of excised scenes from other movies and hastily added special effects. They mention a couple of times that their Order are essentially Ghostbusters, but they don't actually do much Ghostbusting. Perhaps it's to explain their casual indifference to the things that happen to them in the movie. There are some spooky children, who he battles in a graveyard and then nonchalantly chats about with his friend who shows up at the climax of the boring battle. There is the most bizarre variation on the 'informant' scene that I have ever seen, which they dismiss a minute later. His friend is nearly crucified by enchanted bolts and they're in the hospital right after talking about love. They're so unfazeable that you could never begin to relate to them.
If the film could have abandoned those bizarre and useless subplots and replaced them with something stronger to support the main story, it wouldn't be so bad. Instead it just piles more unnecessary elements on top of the other. There are special effects in the film, but I'm not sure why. They appear to have been filmed in such a way that the film didn't need them and it was added later as an afterthought. So what we have remaining is some quick corpsifications (why? No clue.), spirits that look exactly like the Sentinels from The Matrix, and one of the most elaborate period set destruction pieces I've ever witnessed.
The film unfortunately doesn't have much to offer style wise. It's very muted and washed out, largely filmed at night or with candle lights and narrow windows. It certainly didn't engage me much visually. I can't really recall much about the music either.
In all, it was a disappointment coming from Helgeland. Perhaps post production tinkering messed it up, but the worthless and ignored subplots (no other people show some marks that are found on the priest, no mention of the children, the guy who ominously announces that 'your order is dead' before morphing into Joan Rivers), large plotholes, obvious conclusions and villains, and unbelievable attitudes, and confounding reactions by the actors just make it hard to recommend even to fans of the concept. It's feels much, much longer than it is.
The new one of the Van Damme one?
"See it only if you want to spend $8.00 for 98 minutes of uninterrupted slumber inside of an empty movie theater."
Strange, I really liked it. But to be totally forthcoming, I really wanted to like it in the first place. I'm a sucker for what I would call a 'religious-thriller' movie. Not to mention I'm a big big fan of Heath Ledger. Though it is possible for me to hate a similarly-styled film. For instance - The Body - with Antonio Banderas is a travesty of a film that gets worse and worse from beginning to end. Interestingly, that was another movie which got zero publicity and very few reviews.
Heath Ledger is on a downward spiral it seems.
A Knights Tale however was a very fun movie.