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The Reaping


Hilary Swank needs a new agent.

After terrific performances and TWO Best Actress wins in 2000 and 2005, most recently for "Million Dollar Baby", she's stuck in a creative swamp.

Certainly she was for the 2007 Horror/Thriller THE REAPING.

Swank stars as Katherine, a debunk-er of all things religious since a missionary trip to Africa went very, very wrong for her family.

Now alone, she travels the world with her loyal sidekick Ben (the painfully under-used Idris Elba, whose left with little to do) making sure that any sign of a miracle is quickly proven to be science based.

She's even got a 90 second speech ready to debunk all of the plagues of Egypt, which comes in handy when a small city in Louisiana begins to experience those same plagues, in biblical order.

David Morrissey (The Walking Dead) is a local teacher looking for help when a local child, Loren appears to kill her brother and then turn miles of the swamp into blood.

So here's the good news. The filmmakers have spent plenty of money to make every one of the ten plagues look real, exciting and even thrilling to watch.

The bad news is that the screenplay is very predictable and the Director Stephen Hopkins specializes in crappy movies, including "Predator 2", "Nightmare on Elm Street 5" and "Lost in Space".

Swank does her best and young AnnaSophia Robb is very good as the epicenter of all the spooky swamp activity.

By the way, the film opens in Chile and shows a city that looks like some derelict tent town next to a nuclear power plant. I have stood in that town and its modern, clean and beautiful. If you are going to depict squalor at least change the name of the town. Lazy scripting!

At the end of the day, the worst plague to descend on the film is predictability, which dooms it to more than a few eye rolls and a C-.

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