Restoration (1995)

Epic historical dramas are so rare, these days, that even the emotionally-
empty RESTORATION may find itself an audience.  There's very little weight
behind this 17th Century story of an English physician (Robert Downey Jr.)
who finds his faith tested by the King (Sam Neill), a fellow practitioner
(David Thewlis), and a mentally-ill commoner (Meg Ryan).  The running time
is a wig's hair under two hours, and yet it feels like four.  Nobody in
Michael Hoffman's film commands any presence, least of all Downey, who
appears in nearly every single scene.  (The Big Cast also includes Hugh
Grant, who, apparently, is now required to appear in at least three period
pieces per year.  Maybe it's part of his sentence.) The opulent set design
and detailed costumes are about as exciting as it gets.  Though there's
never a shortage of story-- the plot churns away merrily from the very
first scene-- the absence of even a *single* interesting character turns
the title into an apt description of what most viewers will be attempting
with regard to the blood flow to their buttocks.  Boring.  (Rated "R"/113

Grade: C-

Copyright 1996 by Michael J. Legeros

Originally posted to triangle.movies on 5FEB96 as part of MOVIE HELL: February 5, 1996

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