It's nice to finally see the Messiah portrayed by somebody who'd probably get extra attention at a U.S. airport by Homeland Security.
"Risen" is a fascinating cultural artifact, but as a film, it's destined for no glory greater than as an appropriate cable rerun on Easter.
For a film that could have easily become bogged down in Sunday School reverence, or culture-war opportunism, Risen presents an intriguing, oblique approach to a Bible movie.
Whatever your religious affiliation, you will come away thinking that if all this did actually happen, it probably happened something like this.
Despite not doing much more than preach to the choir, Risen is still more nuanced than the lion's share of recent faith-based dramas.
It's pointed about how we treat today's zealots, as when Clavius likens the pain of crucification to "sucking air through a wet cloth" - a description of waterboarding.
It's not often that faith-based films, competing in the same marketplace that rewards action, embrace the deeper, more difficult idea of meeting hate with love, but Risen tries.
A fairly ambitious picture tailor-made for that slice of the Christian audience accustomed to the tropes and beats of prestige cable dramas.
The film features a lush historical setting and some satisfying action scenes, but the dialogue is often laughable, a mix of the pseudo-archaic with oddly contemporary lingo.