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Anne Rice

'Young Messiah' lacks passion

'Young Messiah' lacks passion

Prequel-mania spreads from Disney fairy tales to Biblical epics with “The Young Messiah,” an adaptation of Anne Rice’s novel “Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt,” about the life of Jesus as a 7-year-old boy. Writer-director Cyrus Nowrasteh treats the origin story respectfully but flatly -- as though he’s filming the adventures of Superman in Smallville.

Devout Christian audiences might find the film’s scriptural resonances inspiring (or perhaps scandalously blasphemous, because they’re based on apocrypha). Ordinary moviegoers may wonder why the picture’s so dryly earnest.

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