Inspired by the actual files of Father Gabriele Amorth, Chief Exorcist of the Vatican, The Pope’s Exorcist follows Amorth as he investigates a young boy’s terrifying possession and ends up uncovering a centuries-old conspiracy the Vatican has desperately tried to keep hidden.
That’s the truth about the Russell Crowe starring The Pope’s Exorcist. All the rest is just angels and demon and an attempt to out CGI and practical effects the last great possession movie. The box office gods have blessed this enterprise. There will be a sequel.
Russell Crowe seems to be making an attempt to be engaging. He’s a clerical maverick who drinks espresso. His only vice (aside from a long ago botched and fatal exorcism) is drinking whiskey from a silver flask. His only prideful display- driving a Vespa adorned with a Ferrari head crest.
For a bit of action comedy, buddy flick aura, Crowe is paired with a younger priest played by Daniel Zovatto. Zovatto’s true Spanish accent had me riffing on the accuracies and stupidities of Crowe’s Italian one. Teamed with the amazing child actor, Peter DeSouzza Feighoney, as the possessed boy, the three generate an ungodly amount of screen chemistry which is hurled about the frame with abandon.
The Pope’s Exorcist is a genre mashup not afraid to show its hidden roots. Besides the buddy comedy and Dan Brown inspired hijinks, there is an irreverent dash of Indiana Jones with some camp and surreal touches that look Ken Russell inspired.
The ending even suggests a sequel or perhaps a whole franchise will be rising from the dead in the future. I’ll take that gladly if it pops up on Netflix.
The Pope’s Exorcist gets a 3.5 out of 5 or a B+. It’s streaming on Netflix.
- R. Dean McCreary
- Chester Hastings
An Exorcist Tells His Story and An Exorcist: More Stories
- Doug Belgrad
- Michael Patrick Kaczmarek
- Jeff Katz
- Screen Gems
- 2.0 Entertainment
- Loyola Productions
- April 5, 2023(International)
- April 14, 2023(United States)
- United States
- United Kingdom