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