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Overall Rating

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Worth A Look: 0%
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Total Crap: 14.29%

1 review, 1 rating

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by Rob Gonsalves

"A missed opportunity."
3 stars

Paul Schrader and comedy have probably never had more than a nodding acquaintance, and that's what they have in this tepid satire (based on a much more entertaining Elmore Leonard novel) about a former Franciscan monk (Skeet Ulrich) who has stigmata and the power to heal the sick and infirm.

Everyone around him, including a devout Catholic troublemaker (Tom Arnold) and a con man (Christopher Walken), has an agenda in mind for him, and he falls in love with music-industry drone Bridget Fonda. Walken fans will be delighted he has enough screen time to be considered the movie's lead, and he's in his smooth, funny mode and Schrader has corralled an intriguing cast (Lolita Davidovich, an underused Janeane Garofalo, Paul Mazursky, Gina Gershon), but the movie never catches fire. With his famously strict religious upbringing, Schrader would seem a logical choice to direct a movie about a modern-day healer, but he just goes for the usual banal carnival-atmosphere stuff and sets it whirling lazily around the passive, unruffled Ulrich.

I'll give the film this much: it's a trip to see Christopher Walken and former X frontman John Doe sharing a scene right at the beginning; it's not a match-up you'll probably ever see again.

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originally posted: 12/16/08 07:35:32
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User Comments

12/16/08 Jack Sommersby Vapid and clunky and not with so much as a smidgen of admirable craftsmanship. 1 stars
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