The Nativity Story (PG)

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The Independent Culture

Following Batman Begins and Casino Royale, The Nativity Story is a prequel to The Passion of The Christ which explains where The Christ came from and how he got his superpowers. Well, all right, no, it's not an official prequel. After all, Mel Gibson is a dyed-in-the-wool religious extremist who spent mountains of his own money to bring us his blood-drenched vision, whereas The Nativity Story exists solely to cash in on the church-outing market which Gibson opened up. It's the kind of cheap, dated, literal film which you were forced to watch in an RE class when the teacher had a hangover.

The pseudo-archaic dialogue makes you wish that, like Gibson, someone had translated it into Aramaic. And even when it's not being spoken out loud, Mary is reciting her thoughts as a voice-over. Still, maybe that was necessary, because to look at the pouting Keisha Castle-Hughes you'd assume that she didn't have a thought in her head.

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