Review by Paul Salfen
Assassin 33 A.D. might be one of the most perplexingly unique films to come along in quite some time. From director Jim Carroll, and based on his award-winning script, this is a sci-fi/action/drama/romance hybrid (complete with plenty of comedic elements) about a group of scientists that invent a time machine that is being targeted by extremists that want to go back in time to kill Jesus to stop Christianity from spreading. That is already a unique idea that could go so many different ways – and it does. At first, it seems a little odd in a way that you’re not quite sure what you’re watching since it isn’t a straight-ahead genre of any kind but then it draws you in with all of the “what if” scenarios and different time continuum loops. While other films show Jesus in certain parts of his story, this one shows several pivotal moments together in a way that most likely hasn’t been done before. But, of course, you add in the sci-fi elements and it will not be faith-based enough for most hardcore Christian audiences and it might have too much biblical elements for other audiences. But there is an audience for this, certainly those with an open mind and those that want to see something different. There’s certainly never been anything like it before. The most surprising thing here is that there are touching moments that seem to come out of nowhere, adding to the range of ideas and emotions here. It’s a solid push for something with no large marquee names and a limited budget that all seems to want to go head to head with the blockbusters. And, of course, it might rub some people the wrong way. But adventurous faith-leaning audiences might get a kick out of this one.