The Celestine Prophecy
Dir. Armand Mastroianni. 2006. PG. 99mins. Matthew Settle, Thomas Kretschmann, Jurgen Prochnow, Hector Elizondo, Castulo Guerra, Annabeth Gish.
Deep in the Peruvian rainforest, a humble Franciscan friar (Guerra) discovers ancient scrolls of Mayan origin. The Mayan fondness for human sacrifice notwithstanding, the scrolls contain nine mind-blowing “insights” destined to usher in a millennium of global peace, understanding and cheap-ass visual effects. Those whose consciousness has been razed by said insights spout profundities like “Always find the deeper meaning, the silver lining—that’s what keeps you in the flow” and “Just keep your eyes open: Something will always happen.”
Bad guys in the Catholic church and the military-industrial complex naturally want to nip this Aquarian revolution in the bud, so those in the know about the scrolls are periodically hassled by khaki-clad death squads commanded by the sinister Prochnow.
Prochnow, synchronistically enough, also played a heavy in The Da Vinci Code, a film whose kinship to Citizen Kane only became apparent to us once we’d seen this unfathomably crummy adaptation of James Redfield’s driveling best-seller. Shot on a shoestring in Florida, it’s an exact New Age analog to the earnest, shoddy little evangelical features we sit through from time to time (e.g., Finding Home), right down to its brutally coercive musical score, TV production values and slumming B-list actors (Elizondo, Gish, Prochnow) phoning in their bit parts from a distant parallel dimension.—Cliff Doerksen