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The Body

Director/Writer:Jonas McCord
PG-13; 100 minutes
Release:4/01
Cast:Antonio Banderas, Olivia Williams, Derek Jacobi

Being generous, one could say that The Body tries to stick a limb in each genre and simply falls to pieces. It wants religious and philosophical weight. It wants topical political intrigue in an exotic location. It wants a hunky lead and a sensitive priest. It wants a love story, an action adventure, and an epistemological crisis.

Here's the scene: a Palestinian shopkeeper in Jerusalem digs a basement. Preliminary excavations reveal an ancient tomb with a crucified skeleton. The Vatican must investigate what appears to be Jesus Christ's skeleton—possible evidence that he was an ordinary man, a revelation that might shake the very foundations of Christianity. So they send in Matt Gutierrez (Antonio Banderas). He's a Catholic priest who was once a soldier and has the scars to prove it. Gutierrez must work with a tough-but-sexy Israeli archaeologist (Olivia Williams) who presides over the find. Between his chastity vows and her atheism, romantic sparks fly. Suddenly there are bombs and helicopters, priests suiciding themselves, watery action, and uninspired acting around a listless script.


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