Plot – A young priest is sent to Rome to investigate the troubling death of the head of his order – The Sin Eater
Director – Brian Helgeland
Released – 2003
Brian Helgeland won an Oscar for co-writing L.A. Confidential, however, it’s getting harder and harder to remember that if he keeps getting involved in these entirely forgettable projects, first A Knights Tale and now The Sin Eater, made all the worse by the fact he has somehow managed rope most of the cast to come back a second time.
Sitting somewhere between The Ninth Gate and The Last Witch Hunter, you get the feeling that Helgeland couldn’t quite decide on the tone he wished to portray, with some parts feeling comic in nature and the rest played with a straight face, resulting in a movie that not only feels messy but also seriously affected any chance the film had at forging an identity.
Now whereas A Knights Tale, was entertaining enough to be forgettable and make up for some more dodgy CGI, however, with The Sin Eater, the movie isn’t anywhere near entertaining enough to make up for its shortcomings, no matter how hard Ledger, Addy and Sossamon tried to make it work.
That’s not to say there aren’t some good elements to the film, the main one being the undeniable talent of Ledger, with a career tragically cut short, we have to enjoy the performances he gave us and once here he navigates his way through some clumsy writing to produce another charismatic and tortured turn as disillusioned priest Alex Bernier.
With some better writers and a more talented director, this could have been the start of a franchise, but instead, we get the next in a long line of so-so religious thrillers that despite a big name star and an Oscar-winning director, doesn’t do enough to warrant re-visiting it all these years later.