Review this movie
Dec 30, 2011Rarely have I been so disappointed in my own "instincts" to select a quality film for viewing, but "One Night With The King", sadly, falls into that category. And to be completely honest, as an owner of over 500 films, even more rare are those which had so little power to immerse ones interest as this supposed "epic" release.
Sporting a cast composed of Omar Sharif, John Noble, John Rhys-Davies and Peter O'Toole one can scarcely imagine how a sure-shot collection of acting prowess could be wasted so thoroughly. John Sturges once propounded that the lead characters were not so critical to a quality film production as the support cast. Had he been alive to view this today, I have no doubt he would have considered retracting that claim. What may have been missing from that qualifier was the caveat "with skilled direction". So perhaps that was the main reason for such a dismal screenplay and non-cohesive production. I will definitely be "handicapping" directorship rather than cast in future film selections due to this disappointing experience.
As equally disheartening is the apparent fact that all a filmmaker needs to do to satisfy religious-based movie-goers is pen a script based on biblical storytelling and then provide enough cinematographic substance to support a basic plot. One can't help but wonder if this new generation of screen epic followers has ever felt or appreciated the timeless work of directors like William Wyler and Cecille B. DeMille... if for no other reason than to form a metric on which to gauge screening experiences. Fortunately, as previously mentioned, the camera work by the Steven Bernstein (yes, the actor... that's not a mistake) was more than adequate, although at times captured with dubious continuity. The level of authenticity and set design was just as capable which is possibly one of the reasons the Bible-belters received this presentation which such enthusiasm. It did LOOK pretty realistic.
So after 2 hours of enduring the tedious interplay of characters that seemed to be reading lines on a set in a parking lot rather than living a life in ancient Persia, it finally ended. By the grace of God, I might add. One can only imagine what must have gone through the minds of the renown cast members that really didn't NEED this project to feed their families or pay the rent or establish some level of notoriety. Perhaps they were feeling what I did while watching it... that just around the corner, in the next scene, for the following few minutes... by sheer will... the film could be saved... that it could be given that miraculous shot of adrenaline (or fairy dust!) to substantiate the prior suffering and squirming in the chair. All the hope in the world won't make it so. Not this time. :(… Expand
Those viewers who found anti-Semitism lurking under every stone in The Passion of the Christ may rejoice in this celebration of Jewish heroism; all others should rest assured that falling asleep in the cinema is not a mortal sin.
Blessed with abundant production values and a minimum of campy excess, One Night With the King is a surprisingly satisfying attempt to revive the Old Hollywood tradition of lavishly appointed Biblical epics aimed at mainstream auds.