THE ORDER (BLU-RAY)
Reviewed by: Andre Manseau
What's it about
A renegade priest sets out to investigate his mentor's death and uncovers a conspiracy in the church as well as a figure known as the Sin Eater who absorbs the sins of others.
Is it good movie?
Oh, I was really hoping to never have to watch this movie again. I really, really, really hated this movie. I was somewhat excited to see it when it came out so I took my sweetheart to see it and that's time I'll never get back.
It doesn't sound so bad on paper. Ledger plays "rogue priest" Alex Bernier, who finds his mentor dead. He of course doesn't believe that the death was truly suicide, so he brings a few friends and a crazy girl who tried to kill him along to try to solve the mystery. Of course, they run into a Sin Eater who professes that he is centuries old and then other people start dying and then all kinds of mysteries are uncovered, blah blah blah.
A movie like this absolutely has to be grounded with a bit of realism to add to the sense of drama it is trying to convey. So now we're supposed to believe through dime-store effects and sleepy acting that the only way to get to heaven once you've been excommunicated is to have someone literally eat your sin? Bleh.
This movie moves very, very slowly- almost crawling along. It's practically glacial. When you do finally get some action, it doesn't fit with the rest of the film and it sticks out awkwardly. As I mentioned before, the acting is not very good. Ledger is dull and uninterested, and I've never seen Shannon Sossamon in a good role to this day. It doesn't help that the script is awful and really hokey.
And through all of this, the movie never really feels like it makes a point. By the time Ledger and company finally get to Rome, the movie doesn't know what it's trying to be anymore. Is it a thriller? A horror film? A drama? An intense character study? The Order isn't sure, but it serves everything up for you to decide. And if you dig subplots, there are at least three different ones (including one with Peter "Robocop" Weller that ought to please some fans) that don't feel satisfying at all.
This is a cheap, muddled mess of a movie that doesn't offer scares, suspense, a coherent plot or even halfway decent effects. Head-smackingly awful.
Video / Audio
The Order comes to Blu Ray in a 1.85:1 aspect ratio in 1080p High Definition. The flick looks okay, and the transfer is pretty detailed. If you love The Order, this is the best it'll look.
Audio comes from a DTS HD 5.1 surround track and sounds admittedly really clear and crisp.
If you dare, you can listen to audio commentary with director Brian Helgeland. He is chock full of knowledge, but I admit that this was a commentary track I couldn't listen to in its entirety because sitting through this movie too many times would cause some sort of irreversible damage within me.
Just when you thought you couldn't be more bored with this drawn out mess of a movie, there are also about 20 minutes of deleted scenes and dailies footage to be found here. It's almost all superfluous and belongs on the cutting room floor.
Finally, a low-res trailer for The Order.
This is a movie that apparently sat on the shelf for years before getting a release theatrically. It should have stayed on the shelf. I can usually see some merit in a film when I review it, but this movie provides an exception to that rule. Hard to believe that Ledger went on to do what he did for Chris Nolan in The Dark Knight.