I have been looking forward to "The Rite" since I saw the first commercial. Anthony Hopkins doesn't make bad movies...nor does Alice Braga (loved her in "Predators" and "I Am Legend"). This will be the first time I completely give away everything about a movie.
Based on the previews I thought it was going to be amazing. Terror, possession, deep soul rending spirituality...the actual movie? Not so much. It took absolutely forever for the movie to get rolling. I never thought it would end. At first, I thought it was the kind of movie that you put on while cooking or doing homework, then I decided there wasn't enough plot to actually do that.
Here's the plot - kid with baggage grows up in his father's house which is attached to a funeral home (the family business). His mother died when he was young, and he decided he didn't believe in God anymore. He doesn't want to be a mortician - so he becomes a priest. His lack of faith and an accident cause him to go to Rome to study to be an exorcist. He is introduced to Alice Braga (a journalist in his exorcism class) and Anthony Hopkins (the best and most prolific exorcist in all of Italy.) There, he apprentices with Hopkins and sees a variety of phenomenon (strange bites, horses with red eyes, demon infested individuals telling the unknown). In short order, Hopkins becomes possessed and it's up to the unbelieving rookie to exorcise him. The unbeliever finds faith in what is probably the best ten minutes of the whole film, and then...wait for it...wait for it...he becomes a regular priest post-exorcism. Seriously?! You regain your faith, become an awesome exorcist - and that's what you do with yourself?! (Oh - and Hopkins recovers, and Braga writes an article on exorcism.)
Oh, it should be mentioned that Rutger Hauer had a hand in the movie (he starred in it).
Overall, it wasn't that great of a movie. The ending was good, but not enough that I want to buy the movie. The special effects were ok, but the crew overlooked many opportunities for a cheesy jump from the audience. To be fair, Colin O'Donoghue was pretty good as the unbelieving priest-in-training. "The Rite" certainly wasn't the worst movie I have ever seen, but it was by no means the thriller I was expecting. Better luck next time!