Bless The Child

"Bad"

Bless The Child Review


Yes, August is upon us and with it comes the second appearance of the twice-yearly dumping ground for Hollywood. Like the February doldrums, August brings us films filled with fading stars and awful storylines that weren't deemed good enough to break even after a big summer marketing campaign, nor will they be able to go toe to toe with meatier fare during Oscar season.

And to open August, enter Bless the Child, possibly the worst movie I've seen this year. Well, after Mission to Mars.

Swallow hard before reading this ridiculous plot synopsis, which I can already tell is going to be painful to type. In a nutshell, Jesus has returned to earth in the form of a little girl (Holliston Coleman), who is abandoned by her druggie mother (Angela Bettis) as an infant, to be raised by Aunt Maggie (Kim Basinger). Six years later, Satan's minions are out to kill the girl, of course. And this year, Satan's head minion is a New Agey creep named Eric Stark (Rufus Sewell), determined to convert the Jesus girl to The Dark Side before Easter... or else she must die! (I guess they picked Easter because, you know, they missed the whole millennial paranoia genre window by about a year.) Enter an occult-expert FBI agent (Jimmy Smits) and you've got a kind of cop-thriller-paranormal Sixth Sense wannabe that makes apocalyptic pap like End of Days look like The Seventh Seal.

While young Coleman is a gifted actress, the movie has her doing little more than beating her head against the wall, hugging people, or spinning stuff with her magical powers (backed up by lousy digital effects). Basinger proves that, yes, L.A. Confidential was a total fluke and that she can't act after all. And Sewell appears to be channeling Dr. Evil for his goofy bad guy role. While Christina Ricci is being used to sell this film to the unsuspecting masses, her part is barely a cameo comprising three minutes of screen time.

But bad acting doesn't kill Bless the Child, it's the bad plot that aborts this production. Driven by randomness, coincidence, and just plain stupidity on the part of the characters, the movie wanders from scene to scene with little more purpose than filling 100 minutes before we get to the inevitable showdown at the end. This has been a successful M.O. for action films for a century -- but few have had the gall to try to work in a God vs. Devil plot.

The film is so over the top that Maggie's car, when falling off a bridge, can't just splash into the water -- it has to explode into flames on the way down. The film is so derivative it actually steals lines from other movies (notably a slight variation on "The greatest trick the devil pulled was convincing the world he didn't exist" from The Usual Suspects). And the film is so amazingly obvious that you expect Stark's limo to have "666" on the license plates.

Altogether, Bless the Child is almost bad enough to become a cult classic.

No pun intended.

Bless the child, burn the prints.



Bless The Child

Facts and Figures

Run time: 107 mins

Box Office USA: $28.1M

Distributed by: Paramount Pictures

Production compaines: Paramount Pictures, Munich Film Partners & Company (MFP) GHS Productions, Icon Entertainment International

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 3%
Fresh: 3 Rotten: 109

IMDB: 5.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Maggie O'Connor, as Jenna, as Cody, as Eric Stark, as Cheri Post, as Agemt John Travis, as Det. Frank Bugatti, as Sister Rosa, Dimitra Arliss as Dahnya, Eugene Lipinski as Stuart, as Maria, as Reverend Grissom, Helen Stenborg as Sister Joseph, Matthew Lemche as New Dawn Kid at Van, Dan Warry-Smith as New Dawn Kid

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.