THE STATEMENT is a failed political thriller that, despite its renowned cast, uses an important issue, the murder of Jews during the Holocaust in World War II, to make a humanist statement attacking Christianity. Basically, the movie says that Christians who take their faith seriously are usually big hypocrites who try to cover up their sins against humanity. This appearance of anti-Christian bigotry could easily be overcome by providing some positive Christian portrayals in the story, but, apparently, the filmmakers and actors were not interested in providing viewers with a balanced view.
Michael Caine stars in THE STATEMENT as Pierre Brossard, a former French collaborator with the Nazis who participated in the murder of seven Jews. The movie takes place in 1992 France, where a new war crimes judge, a woman, is now hunting Brossard. Brossard has spent years using his “right-wing” friends in the Roman Catholic Church to hide from scrutiny. The judge wants to expose Brossard and his friends. Complicating the manhunt for Brossard is one of Brossard’s former Nazi collaborating colleagues, a high government official who sends a series of hitmen to eliminate Brossard before Brossard talks to the judge.
Throughout THE STATEMENT, the movie portrays Brossard as a self-rightoeus Christian wracked by guilt and seeking absolution. Brossard, however, is also a hateful man who threatens his ex-wife’s dog so that she hides him from the authorities. Brossard’s friends in the church are apparently unaware of this dark side to his nature and continue to go to great lengths to help Brossard make several hair-raising escapes. The message to all this seems to be that the forgiveness available through Jesus Christ is nothing more than a false mask. Viewers should reject this anti-Christian, humanist message, as they did the pro-Communist, anti-American sympathies in Mr. Caine’s last movie, THE QUIET AMERICAN.
Aesthetically speaking, THE STATEMENT is a bigger failure than THE QUIET AMERICAN. It spends too much time with its unconvincing anti-hero, Brossard, and not enough time with the French judge and her helper, an army investigator, who lack the necessary sympathy and character depth to make them compelling, attractive heroes.
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SUMMARY: THE STATEMENT is a failed political thriller that, despite its renowned cast, uses an important issue, the murder of Jews during the Holocaust in World War II, to make a humanist statement attacking Christianity. Michael Caine plays a self-righteous, hateful Christian who participated in the murder of seven French Jews during the war.
(HHH, AbAbAb, AC, PCPCPC, B, C, LL, VV, A, D, M) Very strong humanist worldview, which proposes that any Christian who takes his or her faith seriously is probably a big hypocrite and a “right-wing” extremist, with some anti-Communist rationalizations are expressed, and very strong politically correct subtext, as well as moral elements include tracking down Nazi war criminals and uncovering fascist conspiracy, and some positive expressions of Christian forgiveness and Christian attempts at restitution; about 14 obscenities and eight profanities; strong but not bloody violence includes man gets the drop on two assassins trying to shoot him, people shot to death, chases and narrow escapes, flashbacks to firing squad execution of seven Jews, and gunshots to the head to finish people off; no sex; no nudity; alcohol use; smoking; and, deceit, covering up crimes, and conspiracies.
GENRE: Thriller/Political Thriller