The life and death of Jesus Christ is considered by many to be one of the greatest stories of all time. The legend has been told and retold countless times, following Jesus’ from his birth in Bethlehem to his crucifixion and rebirth in Jerusalem. It is rare for the sacred tale to be focused on an outside character instead, let alone on a man who finalized the execution of Jesus Christ by directing that he be speared through the side.

The premise of “Risen” is tradition-breaking because it details the execution and awakening of Jesus (Cliff Curtis) through the third-person narration of Clavius (Joseph Fiennes), a stubborn, solemn Roman tribune who is commanded by prefect Pontius Pilate (Peter Firth) to find “the Nazarene’s” missing body. The objective of the movie was to portray the inspirational compassion and selflessness of Jesus by following this outside character, as we see Clavius’ ideals change from bluntly denying the existence of a risen Messiah to seeking enlightenment after personally meeting Christ.

However, I was left uninspired, as I never get to know Clavius as a person. Fiennes maintains the same emotionless expression throughout the entire film, and because it is a purely action-oriented movie, all opportunities to show Clavius’ character are abruptly skipped to the next scene. This makes the audience unsure of how to feel when, without any indication whatsoever, he drops his position as a Roman tribune to find Jesus with the 12 apostles.


“Risen” had a lot of potential because it was a unique perspective on one of world history’s most significant figures. However, I was left unaffected, just like Clavius’ blank expression throughout the movie.

Rating: 2/5 Stars