The Order (Blu-ray)
Alex Bernier is a radical young priest unlike any you might find in the order. When a renowned member of his order, a priest who was like a father to him, dies mysteriously Alex is sent to Rome to investigate. What he finds are a series of ritualistic murders perpetrated by an ancient evil known only as a Sin Eater.
I vaguely remembered Heath Ledger from 10 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOU but he instantly became one of my favourite up and coming actors after A KNIGHT’S TALE. I’d never heard of THE ORDER and as a matter of fact received it as a gift from my fiancée after it hit DVD. Aside from A KNIGHT’S TALE (and of course THE DARK KNIGHT), this flick was and still is my second favourite Heath Ledger film. Most people have never heard of THE ORDER but thankfully I’m here to tell you why you should change that.
For me this movie spelt “win” across the board for two reasons; the first being that this film practically reunites the full cast of A KNIGHT’S TALE. Heath is once again joined by Shannyn Sossamon and Mark Addy and as with A KNIGHT’S TALE their chemistry and camaraderie is flawless. Clearly these actors became great friends and decided to go the Ben Affleck/Matt Damon and Vince Vaughn/Jon Favs route which was fine by me as like I said, they worked magic together. On a side note, I’d love to know what happened to Sossamon as she seems to have vanished. Addy co-starred in the funny TV series STILL STANDING, popped up in ROBIN HOOD and will be in the upcoming A GAME OF THRONES HBO series, so clearly he’s doing well but it’s a real shame about Sossamon as I think she’s got real talent.
The second and most notable reason I loved this film was due to the unparalleled original path it takes with religion. I’m a big fan of religious overtones that delve into the dark uncharted regions of mankind and this film goes where none have gone before with the Sin Eater. I won’t give too much away for those who have yet to see this but I was very much impressed by this phenomenon. Peter Weller’s character was just as fascinating as are his (ahem) extracurricular activities in the film. Some of these darker elements remind me of CONSTANTINE (another film I loved) only darker and more sadistic if you can imagine that. Like I said, “win” across the board for me.
THE ORDER is a rare gem, a film that goes where most people don’t dare tread and it’s these types of unbeaten paths that entertain me the most. I remember being at the gym the night Heath Ledger was pronounced dead, a buddy of mine who knows how into movies I am told me and I was very upset by the news. Ledger was a fine actor and just starting to get the recognition he deserved. I was looking forward to seeing him reprise his Joker role in the next Batman film but above all else I was anxiously awaiting a sequel to this film as the ending is quite a cliff hanger. Clearly, we’ll never see these performances and that makes me sad. May Heath rest in peace knowing that although he may be gone, he’s most certainly not forgotten.
Video: 1.85:1 Widescreen in 1080p HD with AVC codec. There are many spooky scenes herein which are completely magnified due to Blu-ray. Win.
Audio: 5.1 DTS-HD in English, French and Spanish with the same subtitle options. The score is unrelenting and brutal, everything I expect from a dark thriller like this.
Commentary (1:42:17): This is a very bland and boring commentary from director/producer/writer Brian Helgeland and to make matters worse, he sounds almost exactly like Ray Romano only not so funny.
Deleted Scenes (19:29): Despite there being nearly twenty minutes, there’s really not a lot here of worth. I was hoping for a deeper look into the past relationship between Alex and Mara but sadly all I got were small tidbits of useless and irrelevant material.
Previews: Nothing but a lone theatrical trailer.