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By Doug Brunell | July 8, 2008

Writer/director Philip Gardiner wrote the book this “documentary” is based on, which therefore means the film should be sticking fairly true to its source material. Sadly, it probably does because I can’t picture the book being much better than this work of misery.

The description on the back of the DVD box calls this an “unique and thought provoking” film. “This DVD is an incredible true story that outshines the Da Vinci Code [sic] because it is fact and is the story of one man’s fight to uncover the truth.” There must have been a mix-up at the printers, as this is not the movie I saw. Not even close.

With a background of horrible rock and heavy metal music and juvenile computer filter effects, Gardiner “explains” how the Shroud of Turin ties in with the Ark (you know, the one Indy was after) and delves into other “fascinating” mystical/spiritual/religious mumbo jumbo based on misinterpreted directions and linguistics. To call the movie “fact,” however, is stretching things. Some of the points he brings up are actually facts (such as the controversy over the actual date of the Shroud of Turin), while other things are mere opinion masquerading as fact (like saying that in his studies he has found that everything in the world is connected). As far as a fight to uncover the truth… well, I never saw that because the truth he seems to be uncovering is one he made up (at the very least he didn’t prove anything).

I suppose there is a level where this film could have been “unique,” “thought provoking” and “incredible.” That place was never reached, however, as I was put off not only by the music and extensive use of the computer to produce things like fireworks on the screen, but also because it is boring. Gardiner narrates this film (which includes occasional clips of him riding on a bus or walking) in a near monotone most of the time, and there is absolutely no action on the screen (other than those computer effects) — it’s mainly photographs that float by the camera or other such nonsense. Perhaps he was trying to hypnotize audiences into buying his book, but it only served to make me sleepy.

I definitely won’t be reading any of Gardiner’s books any time soon, and nor will I review any more of his “films.” I’m not offended by the subject matter (I couldn’t care less, actually), but I am offended by things that are boring. I’m not going to let this guy take up any other space in my head, and neither should you.

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