Translated [2018] (Movie Review)

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Plot Summary

Through an unusual turn of events, the Apostle Paul is transported through time to the present day, where he finds the modern church looking very different than the one he knew in his day. Paul is found by Tim, who takes him in and helps the Apostle acclimate to the new world. Then, Paul shares the old messages he was given by God in new ways for the future church.

Production Quality (1.5 points)

As a seemingly basic and essentially modern production, it’s unclear why Translated scored only average, but this rating is due to a handful of avoidable concerns. One of these is some moments of shaky camera work while other relates to invasive background sounds that are present inside of indoor sets. While the outdoor shots are better, the audio quality overall needs some balancing work, and the soundtrack is mostly average. Nonetheless, video quality is very good, and the prop usage is effective. There are some minor special effects issues, such as low quality black-and-white flashbacks, but editing is mostly in line with standards. In the end, the mixed bag quality of the production causes it to be run-of-the-mill, which is actually unacceptable given the uncomplicated nature of what was being created.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

From the get-go, the entire premise of this plot seems off. Not only does time travel almost always present major logic problems for narratives, but it’s unclear why the Apostle Paul would either need to come to the present day or even would be sent to it. Attempting to alter such a cornerstone Bible story causes many issues that are not easily resolved, and besides this, even if this weren’t a problem, it’s still very difficult to discern the actual purpose of this plotline. Nothing much happens as the film meanders around and touches on some typical fish-out-of-water concepts, such as introducing the ‘different’ character to various ideas that are foreign to them. There is no driving focus to the storyline, and the dialogue is mainly used to spoon-feed the audience with obvious messaging. As such, the characters are poorly developed and are swept along in disconnected subplots that lack meaningful purpose. Essentially, once one random thing happens after another, the story suddenly concludes in an abrupt fashion and doesn’t leave the viewer with much to work with. In the end, there’s little to no potential in this idea, which is why it really never should have been made.

Acting Quality (1.5 points)

For a small cast, there really isn’t much dynamic in this movie’s performances. While there’s nothing obviously bad, there are also no positive standouts. Emotions and line delivery are both just pedestrian, which ultimately leads to an average rating.

Conclusion

Starting off with such a bizarre premise likely doomed Translated from the start. There’s just nothing that can be done with a story that inexplicably transports a historical character to the present day for no particular reason. There are just so many other things that could be made that would be far more worthwhile than this. We need more Christian films that present transformative meaning rather than more run-of-the-mill throwaways that will be automatically lost in the shuffle.

Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points

4 thoughts on “Translated [2018] (Movie Review)

  1. I enjoyed the movie also. I thought the core premise of the story was interesting and I actually liked the performance from “Paul” but I wasn’t holding the entire film to very high standards. Most of the actors appear to be amateurs, and if so, their performances weren’t “bad” graded on that curve. They weren’t good though. A lot of the dialog was pretty forced and stilted, and if they had another long musical montage I was getting ready to throw myself off the couch (thank you skip forward!)
    The ending could have been a bit tighter, seemed to have just been bolted onto the end when they either decided the original ending didn’t work, or they ran out of ideas for scenes and what they filmed for the ending came next.
    Still, even with all those snarky comments, I enjoyed the movie and it was thought provoking for me, which I guess was probably what they hoped to achieve in people. Glad I watched it.

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  2. I thought it was going to be a scifi time travel story. It was terrible. The sound sucked. The acting sucked. The writing sucked.

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  3. I think that the reviewer is actually off. The plot has a theme and it is quite good, The acting is natural and promising. In general the movie is good and only needs some transitions and editing improvement. In my opinion it is a much better movie that some films in the “Hall of fame”. My grade for the movie: 6 out of 10. My grade for the reviewer: 0.5 out of 10.

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    • I think I agree with you. I enjoyed the movie, taking it for what it probably was: a smaller budget film with less skilled actors. It did come off as amateurish at times, but I would not say it was a story that didn’t need to be told. It does provoke contemplation, and conversation about where the Church is today compared to the fledgling body from Paul’s day. The time travel idea, while far-fetched, is intriguing to think about the what ifs.

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