Movie Review by Reece De Ville
Starring: James D’Arcy, Natasha Wightman, Terence Stamp, Udo Kier, Derek Jacobi
Director: Stuart Urban
Archaeology, foreign locations and adventure have always been a confirmed crowd favourite. Just ask a certain Dr Indiana Jones. It is with this in mind that Stuart Urban dusted off his checklist and not only included all of the above, but added a dash of fantasy and horror into the mix.
Indeed, the story is an intriguing one and covers a fair few countries as D’Arcy and Wightman race against time to uncover the truth about a mysterious religious artefact, reportedly dating back to the time of Jesus Christ. We even have rent-a-villain, Udo Kier, as the chief of a religious sect who may or may not be the anti-Christ. And, yes, General Zod himself, Terence Stamp can be seen skulking around in the background.
Unfortunately, Kier apart (who, lets face it always seems to chew the scenery around him), the cast appear to be performing on Valium. Stamp appears to be phoning in his performance, which disappoints tremendously as he is usually a fine supporting actor. D’Arcy and Wightman, who admittedly are two relative newcomers to the ‘big screen’, just don’t gel and are hopelessly miscast in roles, which are crying out for charisma and charm. D’Arcy comes across as cold and, frankly, bored, which is not what you require from a leading man in a picture such as this.
It is their lack of experience in film, which only serves to highlight the large inconsistencies in what is a particularly rambling script. For instance, the chance meeting of two characters that also happen to be the incarnation of two very famous religious icons is a huge pill to swallow and frankly incomprehensible. Add to that the constant chopping and changing of flashbacks and timelines and you have a story that is bewildering to follow for all the wrong reasons. Indeed, REVELATION has the look and feel of a 2 hour TV drama with it’s slow pacing and production values, and perhaps it would play better in that particular format. However, kudos to the special effects team who create some memorable moments with Kiers’ army of invisible warriors and some nice prosthetic work early on, which help to create the right amount of tension and fantasy.
REVELATION is a film absolutely brimming with potentially fascinating ideas and plot strands. Unfortunately, it doesn’t bind these elements tightly enough together to force a coherent film, and we’re left to mutter yet again about a British film: ‘oh well, maybe next time’.