“I’m acting opposite Rutger Hauer and Anthony Hopkins,” said actor Joe N. Onymous, as he took my order for an Oriental Chicken Salad at the Applebees in the Valley.
“Sure you are,” I said. “Tell Mr. Hopkins you will deliver my salad in 15 minutes or less. And I’ll look for you when you’re accepting an Oscar for your triumphant role in the film Bring Me More Bread.”
Yes, The Rite must have been the right price, because all the money is either in the CG budget or renovating the bathroom at Anthony Hopkins’ Malibu chateau.
“I did this one for a new shitter,” said Hopkins, turning his words as only he can, at once both fascinating and repellant.
There’s a lot of Italian in this movie, which makes sense considering Italian is easy to find in Italy, although less easy to find in Budapest, which was Italy’s stand-in, stunt double, backlot, and whore.
“Hungary and Italy are like the Kardashian sisters of countries,” explained director Mikael Håfström. “And like the Kardashians, one is cheaper than the other.”
Director Håfström is best remembered from pretty much nothing. And The Rite is unlikely to change that.
Who would have guessed that coming a year after The Last Exorcism we have yet another exorcism. What are the signs of Demonic possession? According to The Rite, they are social withdrawal, apathy, trembling limbs, mean looks, a generalized deepening of the voice, and a preference for The Housewives of Beverly Hills over sacred items, like the silicone harmed during the making of The Housewives of Beverly Hills.
In order to banish the Demon, you must know his name. “In some cases, the possessed may spit up nails,” warns Anthony Hopkins, “especially when the Demon’s name is ‘Home Depot.’”
One sad and pretty Italian youth is possessed not only by a Demon but by bags under her eyes.
It turns out the Vatican has its own Exorcist School with big lecture halls and plenty of visual aids. “Exorcism is one of many classes here at the Vatican Learning Annex,” said one instructor. “We also have classes to ‘hula-hoop your way to a trim figure’ and ‘a very special evening with Mariel Hemingway.’”
Meanwhile, Hopkins is transforming into an elderly cherub.
“As I get older I find I am physically converging with Mickey Rooney the way the Internet is converging with television,” said Hopkins. “Just the other day I had an urge to put on a show with Judy Garland.”
At that, our hero has a vision: It’s a jackass with red eyes. No, not Charlie Sheen, a different one.
In the closing minutes of this movie we must get the Devil out of Anthony Hopkins while he insults the priest like he’s Shecky Satan at the Friar’s Club Roast in Hell.
“And while we’re at it we will be exorcising chunky Zorro and husky, elder Wolfman out of your filmography!” announced our young hero between bottomless coffee refills.
The Rite is all wrong.