Friday, November 6, 2009

Worst of the Worst: #55, The Celestine Prophecy

The Celestine Prophecy is such an inane waste of time that I hesitate to even review it. One can tell from even the first couple of minutes that the movie is going to be poorly written, poorly directed, and slightly less exciting than watching grass grow. The production values and acting are so inferior that, combined with the fact that it seems to fade to black every few minutes, one might expect that it was a made-for-TV movie. Perhaps it should have been since it only made $615,000 in theaters domestically and less than $1 million worldwide. Of course, it only played at a maximum of nineteen screens in any given week. I expect those theaters are defunct now for the lack of business sense they showed.

The movie, based on the bestseller of the same name, revolves around some New Age garbage and some trip to Peru and some auras. There is the threat of violence in the film, but absolutely zero tension whatsoever. You never get the sense that anyone is in any actual danger, not that you'd care if they were. The major factor in the inanity of the movie is that it is only a vehicle to get the mystical nonsense out there. Any arguments that characters have against The Nonsense are quickly made and not well constructed. Because the writer has bought into The Nonsense so much, he is unable to create any sort of Socratic dialogue that would help us to see its value. I compare this to the same monotone preachiness you might find in much modern religious fiction, such as the Left Behind series, although those books were at least about a real religion and were only trying to reach a certain target market. Better arguments are even made in The DaVinci Code, and when I'm saying you're not as deep as a Dan Brown story, well, you must really stink.

The movie is topped off at the end by a slow crawl, pre-credits, of the crap we were supposed to learn about The Nonsense in the film. As the movie fades and the crawl begins, there is a short burst of music but then it goes to complete silence. Indeed, the ending is even more inane and boring than the rest of the film. It is a true accomplishment of the people who made this and who are now presumably getting ready to shoot a Bar Mitzvah tomorrow morning. The Celestine Prophecy, #55 on Rotten Tomatoes' list of the worst movie of the decade, the ninth one I've seen on said list, and a movie that I would very much like to forget I ever saw. Luckily, I think that might actually happen.

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