We review a new Christian movie just releasing in theaters this week – Risen! This is an epic and unique retelling of Jesus’ resurrection from the perspective of the Romans that we really enjoyed.
Welcome to The FishFlix.com Christian Movie podcast. Every Wednesday we review a Christian film, informing you about the story, production quality, and family friendliness. Our goal is to bring you all the latest news and insights on Christian movies and recommend wholesome films for you to watch together as a family. I’m your host Noah Metzger and today we’ll be reviewing Risen.
Risen released last week in theaters and stars Joseph Fiennes and Tom Felton. Produced by Affirm Films, this unofficial sequel to the Passion of the Christ tells the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection from the perspective of the Romans. If you’re interested in preordering this film after our review, you can find it on our website at www.fishflix.com.
Risen is a historical drama that tells the story of a fictitious roman army leader Clavius, a tribute commissioned by Pontius Pilate to investigate the missing body of Jesus after his mysterious disappearance. Clavius’ goal is an important one and his success will either make or break the uprising in Jerusalem. If he cannot find a body soon, he will be in serious trouble and all of Jerusalem could potentially get caught up in a whirlwind uprising.
As Clavius attempts to track down the body of Jesus, he finds himself digging up graves, questioning suspects and tearing all of Jerusalem apart in order to find one man. However, as the stakes get higher and he encounters dead end after dead end, he uncovers a secret that causes him to question his beliefs and allegiance to the Roman army.
I was able to go see Risen in theaters and I was overwhelmed by the incredible quality and level of storytelling that this film provided. I was very intrigued after watching the trailer for this film and I was fascinated to see if it could really live up to what it promised in the trailer. When I went to see it, it was apparent that this was a film worthy of other biblical dramas like the very popular Passion of the Christ film. It had a gritty, high budget feel and also seemed very free of obvious anachronisms. It was convincing, and I found myself quickly drawn into the unique plot and characters.
The film centers around the character of Clavius, a Roman tribute who is close to Pontius Pilate. We learn that he has risen through the ranks of the Roman army to be one of Pilate’s go to men when he needs something done. We learn that Clavius is simply doing his job to gain wealth so he can retire and live out the rest of his life in the country in solitude. But we also know that he’s a man that can get things done. He has no fear of killing and won’t hesitate to do anything necessary to accomplish the will of Rome. He’s a hardened man and one willing to do whatever he is commanded.
I found Clavius to be a very fascinating character, and it was interesting to have him be the main character or protagonist of this film. Risen is a very unique movie as it flips the script, following the Romans and seeing their perspective on the events of Jesus’ crucifixion. Once Jesus rises from the dead, you can see how the Romans figured the disciples had taken his body. What follows is their fruitless quest to get the disciples to crack and reveal where they hid Jesus’ body. However, we as the audience already know that Jesus truly did rise from the dead, and Clavius is never going to find what he’s looking for.
I’ve heard it said that this movie is like a biblical times detective movie, and in a lot of ways, I think that’s really true. It’s a mystery of what happened to Jesus’ body, but it was a fascinating experience watching this movie and already knowing what became of Jesus. But we are able to watch Clavius try and figure this case out and systematically come up short for evidence of Jesus’ body.
This was one of the most unique viewing experiences I’ve ever had watching a Christian movie, and I appreciated its willingness to try something completely different. It was a powerful movie, with genuine moving moments. When Clavius eventually does find the truth, he is then faced with a whole new series of predicaments which provides the content of the rest of the movie. I was quickly drawn into the movie and I found it to be an enjoyable film all-around. It contained elements of genuine heart and emotion, but also moments of intrigue, espionage, and action. While it did contain some rather violent and graphic content, I believe most of it was necessary to convey the severity of the situation. This was an incredible movie theater experience and I hope to watch this film again before it leaves the theaters. It had a phenomenal opening weekend at the box office, placing third – an incredible feat for a smaller Christian film.
Parents need to know that this film was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association for violence and was given a faith-based caution seal by Dove.org. While the film didn’t contain any language and did a fairly good job to keep unnecessary sexual themes out of the film, there is a heavy amount of violence. We see armies battle it out in a few scenes and there are several chase scenes of the Roman army trying to track down various subjects. We see decaying bodies and other gratuitous, and sometimes bloody violence. While this kind of violence is most likely accurate and realistic to what this looked like in biblical times, it may be too much for younger viewers to handle.
If you would like to find out more about Risen, or would be interested in purchasing it, you can visit our website at www.fishflix.com. On our website, we have a vast assortment of Christian films you can learn about or purchase. We have a large collection, containing both classics and brand new movies that are just releasing, all at incredibly low prices. Thank you for joining us, and as always, please be sure to stay tuned as we bring you more reviews every week on the FishFlix.com Christian movie podcast.
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