Released 02/19/2016 Rated: PG-13
I really enjoyed this movie. I kind of wanted to see it when it released in theaters, but didn’t get around to it. It looked, in my personal opinion, like the best of the religious options out at the time, and I still hold to that.
Risen is about a Roman soldier tasked with finding the body of Jesus after he’s disappeared from the tomb. A simple enough description, but this movie covers a lot more than I thought it would. The small arc of the guards on duty at the tomb was handled perfectly. They fell asleep on wine due to no one bringing them food, then they ran to the priests when they realized how much trouble they’d be in, the priests paid them to spread the story they wanted, and when Clavius finds one of them in a tavern he’s drinking because he’s confused and scared by what happened because it makes no sense to him. We spend a fair amount of time with Pilate as he strives to remedy the situation. We also spend time on the outskirts of Jesus and his Disciples. The movie touches on a few of the miracles Jesus performed after his resurrection without giving us every detail because we know it already. Also, Clavius knows he doesn’t belong to their group so he hangs back to witness them for himself.
What I love is that this film is focused on the other side of things. In most tellings regarding this portion of the story we get the point of view of the Disciples who are in hiding with their faith shaken due to the Crucifixion. I liked that the story was flipped to show the man responsible for setting the guard and then finding Jesus afterward. What impressed me most was the world building that was brought to this story. There’s nothing extra special about it, I just like that we’ve added to the familiar tale.
The worst thing I have to say about this movie is a couple of instances of CGI usage. I get what they were going for in the instances it was used, but because I can usually spot it so easily it ends up taking me out of the moment. But other than that, I’ve got no problems. I liked it and would recommend it.