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The Order

movie review out of 4 Movie Review: The Order

Starring: Heath Ledger, Shannyn Sossamon
Director: Brian Helgeland
Rated: R
RunTime: 102 Minutes
Release Date: September 2003
Genre: Horror

*Also starring: Mark Addy, Benno Furmann, Peter Weller, Seeta Indrani, Matt Patresi, John Schwab, Paola Emilia Villa

Review by Steve Rhodes
1 star out of 4

First, there's the good news. You won't be able to see most of THE ORDER, since the director has turned the brightness knob down as far as he can in order to hide his film's flaws. Then there's the bad news, which is everything else about the movie.

THE ORDER reunites A KNIGHT'S TALE's writer/director Brian Helgeland with its stars, Heath Ledger and Shannyn Sossamon, a pair of heartthrobs whose acting abilities are no match for their looks. While A KNIGHT'S TALE succeeded with its light playfulness, THE ORDER is a clumsy horror movie that's heavy and pretentious. It's a cheesy and uninviting mixture of every bad supernatural picture ever made. It's also a DOA movie that doesn't even manage to be fun to laugh at. The casting is so atrocious that the acting runs from bad to boring, and the supporting cast is even weaker and more awkward than the leads.

Ledger, whose chief assets are his good looks and his cute charisma, is made-up especially ugly in order to match the film's morose set decoration. Given ridiculous dialog, which he is required to take seriously, his performance is one long embarrassment.

"Sometimes, when you look into the abyss, the abyss looks back at you," one of the priests warns Ft. Alex Bernier (Ledger). You'll be feeling like you've stepped into the abyss after you begin to watch this poorly crafted, pseudo-religious pseudo-thriller. Don't be surprised if you start feeling like the abyss is looking at you and laughing for your stupidity in buying a ticket in the first place.

THE ORDER runs 1:42. It is rated R for "violent images, sexuality and language" and would be acceptable for most teenagers.

Copyright 2003 Steve Rhodes

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