Anthony Hopkins plays a veteran exorcist specialist who takes in a young priest apprentice in “The Rite.” The film charts the education of Michael Kovak, played by newcomer Colin O’Donoghue. He’s a recent seminary graduate who is shipped off to Rome for advanced training as a front-line soldier in the war against Satan.
As far as exorcism movies go, and there have been quite a few recently, this is one is better than most. No, there are no spinning heads or pea soup, so if you are expecting to see that you are out of luck. This movie, as it states in the opening title, is “Based on True Events,” which did make the film a bit more scary.
Hopkins underplays his role as an exrocism priest effectively. As a side note, keep your eye out for a blast from the past, Rutger Hauer plays the young priest’s mortician father.
Overall the picture does come very close to silly at times when a demon is presented as an evil donkey. The storyline drags in the beginning and end of the film, the flick-o-meter gives “The Rite” a worthy 3 out of five. Hopkins doesn’t even show up on screen until about 20 minutes in.