The Pope Must Diet



Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Rotten 29% · 7 reviews
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 51% · 250 ratings
IMDb Rating 5.1/10 10 1655 1.7K

Top cast

Beverly D'Angelo as Veronica Dante
Robbie Coltrane as The Pope
Adrian Edmondson as Father Rookie
Balthazar Getty as Joe Don Dante
779.76 MB
English 2.0
25 fps
1 hr 24 min
Seeds 10

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by filmbuff1970 1 / 10


This just isnt funny,the plot is dumb.The jokes are nowhere to be found.This movie is so bad watching paint dry would be more fun.The waste of a capable cast. The writer of this crap should be ashamed.Awful 1 out of 10

Reviewed by The-Last-Prydonian 4 / 10

Has the potential for great religious satire but eventually falls flat

Religion has always been a contentious subject, and yet one ripe for satirical comedy. It's been done more than several times in recent years, with Kevin Smith's Dogma as well as Christopher Morris's Four Lions springing readily to mind. It was one however, that writers Peter Richardson and Pete Richens had failed to tackle on the small screen with their anarchic and predominantly satirical, The Comic Strip Presents...series of short films. They chose to satirize Catholicism with their third full-length feature film after, The Supergrass and Eat the Rich. Frequently collaborating together with the results being decidedly hit-and-miss. However, when they really hit at times they really could hit the mark. It's with some semblance of goodwill then that I approached, The Pope Must Die hoping that it might be rewarded.

With Robbie Coltrane, in the title role as the eponymous new pope, C. David "Dave" Albinizi. A dedicated priest who before his appointment to Pontiff works in an Italian orphanage run by Nuns. Whose unconventional methods raise the ire of the Mother Superior (veteran actress Annette Crosbie of, One Foot in the Grave and Dr. Finlay fame). A clerical error upon the death of the last Pope finds the small-time priest in the hallowed position. One that proves timely as he was given his marching orders by his boss. Meanwhile, head Italian mafioso Vitorrio Corelli, (Herbert Lom) has insinuated his influence into the Catholic Church. Becoming more and more rife with corruption, and wants to see the new Pope, "taken care of." He becomes enraged upon learning that the wrong man has been given the role. He had his eyes set on another to fill the vacancy.

There is at the heart of the film, the potential for some great satire, and Coltrane invariably makes for a likable leading man. Bringing considerable warmth and conviction to Albinizi. It does indeed get off to a promising start with the early scenes being fairly engaging and the absurdist nature of its humor. One was often a mainstay of Richardson and Richens's work with The Comic Strip team (of which Richardson was the founding member) working well. It does indeed raise a few chuckles. As a biting satire on the inner workings of the Vatican, and allegations of corruption that have dogged the institution for decades which ranks as only just one of its misdemeanors over the years. It feels like something of a wasted opportunity.

While there are early hints at the sardonic edge that we've come to expect it proves to later be decidedly unfocused and rather shallow. It's as if they're holding back which gets in the way of the political and social commentary. Comically over-the-top characters that permeate the film's narrative although initially raising a smile do begin to wear pretty thin, as does the plot which just goes from absurd to plain ridiculous with its plot developing into a bit of a contrived shambles in its final act. It's by this point it feels like it has descended into a one-joke concept that has run out of steam. Not even the scenes involving John Sessions and Steven O'Donnell as two bungling hitmen, sent to carry out Corelli's dirty work despite the efforts of both actors do much if anything to raise laughs. Any attempts involving the duo simply feel forced. All the while, Adrian Edmondson, a former Comic Strip regular and writer along with Richardson and Richens feels underused and wasted as a hard-of-hearing Vatican Priest who delivers some of the movie's scarce laughs. With Paul Bartel and yes, Peter Richardson (who makes more of an effort on screen than he clearly has on the paper) doing the best they can to strain laughs from the flimsy script but it's ultimately a losing battle.

The Pope Must Die, I can at least say is not the worst of the movies that both Richardson and Richens collaborated on. Their later attempt at satire proved even less successful with Churchhill: The Hollywood Years bombing at the box office thirteen years later proving to be arguably the nadir of their respective careers. It does after all benefit from the reliable presence of Coltrane as it does the rest of its strong cast, but even they cannot prevent it from being something that could have been so much more and lacks the innovative, searing wit that was better served on the small screen than it was on the big.

Reviewed by brad-kruse 6 / 10

Simple faith beats conniving

This silly story of an ethical priest (Coltrane) with more good heart than religious scholarship overflows with cartoon-like characters. The Reverend Mother over the orphanage hates fun and children. The Bishop is intent on church business to the exclusion of expressions of faith. The Monsigneur assisting the pope and Cardinal Rocko are working for the local gun-runner/mafia boss. The hit men claim work they didn't do, and deny work they did. And on and on.

Understand that the point of the picture is not to make fun of the Vatican, but to show an unstoppable presence that restores, time after time, sanctity and service to the Roman Catholic Church. Yes, certain figures are shown to be unscrupulous and doing wrong. Yes, we can laugh about the crucifix flip-phone and a Cardinal confessing 'If you can think of a sin, I did it!' The bad guys don't win this one, though. The good guys generally end up supported and blessed (except poor Joe Don Dante and Carreli's daughter).

I have to admit thinking about the opening scenes during the final days of Pope John Paul II. And I cringe at the moments before the announced 'Pope's Dead!'. I imagine the story is a blend of farce and speculation on rituals at the Vatican, and not to be used in religious instruction. Irreverent small story, a bit of electric rock guitar. I wonder if it is on the hidden video collection/en suite bar for Pope Benedict XVI... I keep coming back to 'The Pope Must Diet' (USA title) for a little fun.

Read more IMDb reviews


Be the first to leave a comment