×

Vatican Paper Slams ‘Star Wars’ Calling It ‘Confused And Hazy’

ROME – Amid a chorus of overwhelmingly stellar reviews around the planet for “Star Wars: The Force Awakens,” Vatican daily L’Osservatore Romano begs to differ, calling the film “confused and hazy” and, even worse, opining that it “fails most spectacularly” in its representation of evil.

The newspaper owned by the Holy See also wrote that the latest installment in the franchise is not a proper sequel but more of a reboot.

“Not a classy reboot however, like Nolan’s Batman, but a twisted update which fits today’s tastes and a public more accustomed to sitting in front of a computer than in a cinema,” the anonymous reviewer said, adding the film seems to draw from the “sloppiest current action films derived from the world of videogames.”

The L’Osservatore Romano review also laments too many close-ups, and even faults the “much-publicized” return to in-camera effects, saying they are “often anonymous and lacking in dramatic value.”

As to why the pic supposedly fails spectacularly in its representation of evil, the caustic critic claims that “Darth Vader and above all the Emperor Palpatine were two of the most effective villains in [the sci-fi] genre of American cinema.” But the film’s new villain, the Darth Vader-inspired Kylo Ren, is slammed as “insipid;” while Supreme Leader Snoke – the Emperor Palpatine-like character, is called “the most serious defect of the film,” with his representation described as “awkward and tacky.”

These isolated observations certainly have not impacted box office for ”The Force” in Italy, where the film has grossed over $10 million to date, in line with expectations, after scoring the country’s top December opening frame ever.

L’Osservatore Romano is not new to going against the grain in its reviews of record-breaking Hollywood blockbusters. It slammed “Avatar” as “sentimental hokum.”

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

  • Notre dame

    Locarno Film Review: 'Notre dame'

    Not to be too cynical about it, but might the recent horrific fire in Paris’ cathedral attract audiences to a film in which the gothic gem plays a major role? It’s likely a wiser marketing strategy than promoting the unrelenting silliness of Valerie Donzelli’s oh-so-kooky comedy “Notre dame,” the writer-director-star’s return to contemporary Paris following [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content