The Rite

Rated PG-13 112 min. 2011

No, it’s not good, and, no, I’m not recommending The Rite, but I can’t bring myself to actually dislike a movie that includes Satan’s mule. Now, had it been a talking mule, I might have been persuaded to recommend the film, but since the death of Chill Wills, I guess mule voice actors have become scarce, so they opted for a silent approach. Granted, this is a very serious mule, especially with his CGI glowing red eyes, but it’s not enough. And it’s a real downer when the film’s not-all-that-big climax climaxes before the beast in question kicks down the door to lend the demon a hoof. All this probably gives you a fair indication of the sort of movie we’re dealing with here. The movie gives Anthony Hopkins top billing as cantankerous old exorcist Father Lucas Trevant, but the real star is Irish TV actor Colin O’Donoghue as Michael Novak, a seminary student with faith issues. Unfortunately, the two are an uneven match. While Hopkins is having a lot of fun chewing the scenery (to prove it, he pukes up nails at one point), O’Donoghue has about one more expression than the mule — and his eyes don’t glow, so it’s a wash. It’s all stock exorcism biz and, the mule aside, it’s nothing you haven’t seen before and seen done better. If you don’t know whether or not Michael’s disbelief will be cured, it might surprise you. Maybe.

Film Credits

Official Site: www.what-do-you-believe.com

Director: Mikael Håfström

Writer: Matt Baglio and Michael Petroni

Cast: Anthony Hopkins, Ciarán Hinds, Alice Braga, Toby Jones and Colin O'Donoghue

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The Rite

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