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The Body

In Jerusalem, an ancient skeleton is unearthed. Is he Jesus, or isn't he? An archaeologist and a priest team up and risk their lives to find the truth.


Deep in the ground behind a Jerusalem hardware store, a tomb is discovered holding an ancient skeleton that bears all the markings and evidence of Jesus Christ. The Vatican sends out Jesuit Matt Guttierez (Antonio Banderas), to bury the secret (the Catholic Church would rather nobody know that Christ's body wasn't really resurrected). Matt teams up with archaeologist Sharon Golban (Olivia Williams) to investigate, and winds up in the middle of a power struggle between politicians, religious extremists and terrorists.


Banderas as the devout priest seems to be phoning this one in, while Williams as the pragmatic scientist is solid but not terribly memorable. But together their chemistry is pretty good as a man of faith and a woman of science who both find their beliefs tested by what they've found-and by the sexual tension between them. Derek Jacobi is pure Easter ham as Father Lavelle, who finds his lifelong beliefs shaken (O, how they're shaken!).


Ho, hum. What ultimately could've been an interesting story ends up talked over to death. Dry discussions ensue between Matt and Father Lavelle-snore. Who cares? Faith, schmaith, get to the action, already. This might have been better had it concentrated solely on what the discovery of Christ's body could mean politically and culturally to the rest of the world. Instead the film balks jerkily between a half-hearted and predictable conflict between the Israelis and Palestinians (yeah, we know they don't get along) and the individual struggles of faith by the characters who, naturally, end up in the middle of a terrorist scenario.

Bottom line

If you liked millennial, end-of-the-world flicks like actioner End of Days and creepily horrific Stigmata, you'll find this one a bit slow.