Roland Joffé (The Killing Fields) directs this fuzzy effort at a David Lean-like epic without David Lean's sense of emotional proportion. Lean's most important screenwriting collaborator, Robert Bolt, in fact wrote The Mission, which concerns a Jesuit missionary (Jeremy Irons) who establishes a church in the hostile jungles of Brazil and then finds his work threatened by greed and political forces among his superiors. Robert De Niro is briefly effective as a callous soldier who kills his own brother and then turns to Irons's character to oversee his penance and conversion to the clergy. The narrative and dramatic forces at work in this film should be more stirring and powerful than they are--the problem being that Joffé is too removed from them to allow us in. --Tom Keogh
What would you do if, through an unexpected twist of fate and time, you came face to face with Jesus of Nazareth? In the flesh. A living, breathing, three-dimensional figure with a disconcertingly casual manner. When you had pinched yourself to make sure that you weren't dreaming and found that he was still there, would you turn your back and walk away - or would you try to find out what he was doing so far from home?That was the decision facing Leo Resnick, a smart young Manhattan lawyer, and his girlfriend, Dr Miriam Maxwell. Mission is Leo's record of his encounter with The Man. If you've ever looked up at the stars and wondered what it all means, this is the book you've been waiting for. Mission is the nearest you'll get to the Secret of the Universe this side of the Apocalypse.