Pushing Thirty

and shedding pretentions

Don’t See ‘The Final Inquiry’

Usually I have a knack for finding a jewel of a movie in the midst of a picked-over new release shelf. My wife marvels at my ability to wade through the ocean of flicks unworthy of our attention and pull out an off-the-beaten-path film about Jesus or someone who loves Jesus. My greatest success to date was finding “The Ten Commandments,” a recent (2006) mini series that went to DVD that no one’s seen. The special effects on the parting of the sea are phenomenal (eat your heart out Heston) and,yes, they’ve got the Pillar of Fire.

But last week, I faced abject failure.

I really thought I was on to something when I picked up The Final Inquiry. The blurb says the movie is about a Roman “special forces” soldier dispatched to Jerusalem to ascertain the veracity of the claims that a crucified jewish Rabbi has been resurrected from the Grave. On his special journey our hero finds “faith, love, and a truth that could topple an empire.” It was like it was marketed specifically to forerunners. This sounded like the perfect film to inspire and entertain on my night off.

A notion that quickly faded. What I got instead was a shoddy sequel to Mel Gibson’s Passion. It looked to me like they won the bid for all of his costumes on e-bay. They even got Hristo Shopov to play Pilate again, a strange convergence since in this film he’s speaking English and saying some silly things.

The other tip-off that this might be a gravely disappointing film was that Dolph Lundgren was one of the headliners.  If you don’t know, Dolph stared in about 50 action films as a sort of Schwartzeneger substitute. When I saw his name I thought, “cool; he mus be a believer.”  And maybe he is.  But what his name also meant was B movie action sequences nearly every 15 minutes.  Even his character is proposterous, a pagan soldier of fortune captured by the main character in the beginning of the movie somewhere beyond the Rhine, and forced for the rest of the time to read an atrocious script and tote a styrofoam battle axe. Its pretty bad.

The movie might have some kind of spectacular ending; but I wouldn’t know.  I bowed out shortly after my wife,  long before the hero found anything like love, faith, or the truth that could rock an empire, and precisely at the point that Pilate enlists a small band of ex-gladiators to pose as Galileans attempting to hide the corpse of one non-resurrected messiah.  Not to fear; our hero soldier saw right through the ruse, recognized the Galileans fighting style as “gladiatorial” and spotted that the corpse’s wounds were hand-and-foot inflicted posthumously.

I think I’d rather be watching the Gospel of John.  Great film, if you haven’t seen it.


July 1, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. I’ve just got to say that this post has the most random automatically generated related post: something from the 2008 NBA playoffs.

    WordPress should contract out their post-searches to Google. At the least I could have been assigned a link to a Dolph Lundgren film.

    Comment by bretmavrich | July 1, 2008 | Reply

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