Anthony Hopkins made his career playing one of the most menacing and terrifying characters in movie history. As Dr. Hannibal Lecter he tore up the screen with a performance that still sends a chill down my spine. I have to say I was excited to go see The Rite because Hopkins plays bad so good. I walked away satisfied by his performance, but not much else.
The Rite made me mad because once again, Hollywood is scared to let a movie stand in its own shoes. The Rite is a drama with some psychological thriller elements. It was creepy at times, but it is more about a man's struggle with his faith than a scary movie at all. Colin O'Donoghue plays a man trying to live a life where religion was forced at him from a very young age. He is coping with that and trying to figure out exactly what his ties to the Lord actually are. THIS is what the movie is about. O'Donoghue does a fine job playing this up. Not great, but fine. It is when Sir Anthony is on the screen when the movie really picks up.
Hopkins plays a priest named Lucas Trevant and he works for the Vatican as an exorcist. He is funny and powerful and when the shit hits the fan in the third act, he plays the evil we love to see so well. His performance is gripping as always. His eyes are so still, yet seem to have so much power behind them. His priest is scary for sure. In fact, it is his presence in most scenes that make this movie work.
As a whole, this movie lacked in newness. The story is exactly what you would expect. I wasn't surprised by anything. I really wish they would have pushed it a little further in the exorcism scenes. Don't be afraid to really ratchet up the tension. I feel like if they had done that, this movie would have been far more entertaining than it was. Would I recommend it? Sure, but keep in mind that Hopkins is one of the few things worth the price of admission.
6 out of 10 stars