Friday, April 24, 2009

Abraham - The Bible - Review

Abraham – The Bible

The Bible Collection has been a personal favorite of mine after watching “Joseph – The Bible”. Even the lesser ones have a decent amount of drama and a well written and well paced storyline. Also, for the most part, the story stays with the source material. That’s The Bible for all you heathens out there. Believers and non can enjoy these movies for being well produced, dramatic stories that at least make you appreciate what these real life people may have went through. However, one of the main problems I have with this series is that the writers seem to make the central figures a bit too human. What I mean by that is that by taking a lot away from the “religiousness” of what makes these people inspirations, the writers tend to weaken the characters to a point where it’s almost laughable that central points and peoples hinged on what they did and what hey stood for. “Abraham – The Bible” probably illustrates this point most of all.

Directed by Joseph Sargent (“Miss Evers’ Boys”) and written by Robert McKee (“Mrs. Columbo), the story follows Abraham, played by Richard Harris (“Gladiator”) from his days before being called by God to father “a great nation” that would become known as Israel and goes through leaving his home to establish a new one. Along the way he and his wife; Sarah, played by Barbara Heshey (“The Right Stuff”) must deal with forsaking the old, false gods, the birth of the Arab nation with the birth of Ishmael, the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, and building up a people that would be counted like the “grains of sand”.

Grade – C-

The visuals of this movie are very banal. Usually this series has a certain “olden day” like feel to it. Abraham taking his people through the desert and meeting Mekhizedek feels like they just took twelve people and made them wander just outside the deserts of California. On top of that, the number of people in the cast lack any impressiveness. Yes, it is suppose to be Abraham’s early days but the feel to the movie is that there’s an old guy who wants to leave his home and takes about a dozen people with him and that’s about it. There are no impressive cities or landscapes that other “The Bible” movies have. It’s a very lackluster visual exercise.

Abraham is also a very boring character which is sad because with talent like Richard Harris, I thought I’d feel more…well, feeling for this important figure head of a great people. Abraham appears just as a crazy old coot when he is smashing the false idols in his original home. His visions when God is talking to him makes him to be more a mad man than someone who the Almighty had conversations with and who was so impressive that the Creator made him this patriarchal man. Both Lot and Sarah feel like very distant secondary characters even though they play a huge role in the real story. The acting of everyone in this movie just feels off from what it should be. In fact, the best acted and most interesting character in the whole movie is actually Mekhizedek; and he’s really not in The Bible all that much! The almost sacrifice of Isaac did not invoke a lot of emotion. Usually with this specific series I usually shed a tear or two. However, this movie made me yawn more than inspire me or fill me with awe. If I knew nothing about the real Abraham I would have had a really poor view of him after viewing this movie. This is probably one of the movies in the series you might want to skip.

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