DVD Review: Risen
By John Corrado
★★ (out of 4)
When Jesus (Cliff Curtis) is crucified, and his body goes missing from the sealed tomb, Pilate (Peter Firth) hires a doubting Roman military tribune named Clavius (Joseph Fiennes) to investigate and find a body. Pilate is worried by the implication of claims that the Messiah has risen from the dead, but Clavius has his faith tested when he discovers that these reports might actually be true.
Although Risen does get some points for trying to tell the story of Jesus from a different perspective, it’s also a bit of a missed opportunity. The choice to play the first half of the film like a detective story is an interesting one, but it also doesn’t quite work to drum up suspense, because we already know the outcome of the central mystery.
Directed by Kevin Reynolds, Risen sometimes feels lacking in terms of scope, but the film makes up for it with decent production design, and a solid performance from Joseph Fiennes in the leading role. All in all, this an alright if somewhat unremarkable swords and sandals epic, that should find some devotees amongst its faith-based target audience.
The DVD also includes a commentary track, as well as three featurettes.
Risen is a Sony Pictures Home Entertainment release. It’s 107 minutes and rated PG.