The Pope's Exorcist (Julius Avery, 2023) Russell Crowe, Daniel Zovatto, Alex Essoe; Gabriele Amorth investigates the possession of a child and uncovers a conspiracy the Vatican has tried to keep secret.
Hustled out over Easter, Julius Avery’s papal potboiler derives brisk if well-trodden hokum from the writings of Father Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican’s demonslayer-in-chief between 1986 and 2016. The film’s Amorth is a wry old pro, finding the levity in a devilishly tricky day job; not unhelpfully, he’s played by Russell Crowe, alternating gruff Italian and Italianate English, and possibly eyeing the prospect of a late-career franchise-slash-retirement plan. Crowe is by far the film’s strongest suit, pre-empting (some of) our gigglier responses and mitigating against (some of) the material’s flimsiness. We still have movie stars, even if the pictures thrown up around them are getting smaller, staler and sillier.
... Racing towards its splattery finale, it just about qualifies as lively schlock, and is likely your one chance to see Crowe in flowing robes piloting a Vespa to the strains of Faith No More. The Guardian.
Garry Gillard | reviews | New: 28 June, 2023 | Now: 28 June, 2023