The Vatican is one of the most well-known places in the world. Yet in The Man From Rome we are introduced to an entirely new side of the Vatican and the church. Father Quart (Richard Armitage) is an intelligence officer working for the Vatican. The job comes with all the modern bells and whistles – retinal scanners, complex computer systems, etc. Certainly a far cry from what is typically envisioned when hearing about the Vatican and its priests.
When a determined hacker manages to break through the Vatican’s security system, things go off the rails. They manage to send a text message directly to the Pope. Yes… you read that right. The message tells the pope of a church in Seville, Spain that is being threatened and is killing to defend herself. This seems like the perfect mission for Father Quart.
Father Quart quickly meets Macarena (Amaia Salamanca) – whose family has been a part of the church for generations. Her ex-husband Pencho (Rodolfo Sancho) is leading the bank team working to buy and demolish the church. As Father Quart investigates, he realizes that things are more complicated than they seem.
Sergio Dow directs while Adrian Bol, Beth Bollinger, and Gretchen Cowan form the writing team for The Man From Rome. Bol has multiple films under his belt however, The Man From Rome was the debut for both Bollinger and Cowan. This may be a classic case of too many cooks in the kitchen. The script leaves a lot to be desired and drags at times. At other points there are twists and betrayals galore, but nothing novel. The Man From Rome over exaggerates every detail when any type of deceit or espionage is happening. A phone call from the secret hacker? Quick play spy music and zoom in on the shifty eyes.
The central concept of The Man From Rome is also one that is difficult to grasp. A Vatican intelligence officer? Are you picturing James Bond with a collar, an ordained Ethan Hunt, Jack Bauer in a church? You wouldn’t be that far off – Quart is just a pretty holy-watered down version of those. This coupled with the fact that many of the character’s actions continuously leave the audience scratching their heads and you have a mess. The Man From Rome does not do enough to set itself apart. Throw in the slightly absurd premise and the film is not worth a watch.
The Man from Rome is available now on digital.