Source: Catholic News Service
Intensely violent action film, based on the "Hellblazer" graphic novels, about a world-weary, chain-smoking exorcist (Keanu Reeves) fighting lung cancer and demonic forces with the help of a police detective (Rachel Weisz), whose twin sister either committed suicide or was murdered and is now consigned to the fires of hell. Though gussied up with all sorts of religious mumbo jumbo -- the powers of good versus the forces of evil, self-sacrifice, redemption, a Gabriel character (Tilda Swinton), and a "sword of destiny" (a.k.a. the weapon used to pierce Christ on the cross) -- Francis Lawrence's film is basically another formulaic action film -- think "The Exorcist," "Alien" and "The Matrix" rolled into one -- that's only fitfully interesting, when the gory bits aren't positively wince-inducing. Graphic violence with attendant gore, some rough and crude language, and some sacrilegious imagery. The USCCB Office for Film & Broadcasting classification is L -- limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is R -- restricted.
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