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Vatican newspaper’s reviewer pans ‘The Force Awakens’

NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Updated: Tuesday, December 22, 2015, 8:16 PM

The Vatican has withheld its blessings from “Star Wars” — claiming in an official film review that there isn’t enough devil in the details of this galaxy, far, far away.

The holy snub comes from Vatican’s official newspaper which opined that the makers of “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” committed a cardinal sin by not imbuing the flick’s villains with enough evil.

“The new director’s set-up fails most spectacularly in its representation of evil, meaning the negative characters,” L’Osservatore Romano critic Emilio Ranzato wrote in his Dec. 18 review of the movie.

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Ranzato added that director J.J. Abrams’ villainous additions to the “Star Wars” canon — Kylo Ren (Adam Driver) and Supreme Leader Snoke (Andy Serkis) — left him with little new hope for the franchise.

Kylo Ren from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had the Vatican’s newspaper critic seeing red.Lucasfilm

Kylo Ren from “Star Wars: The Force Awakens” had the Vatican’s newspaper critic seeing red.

“The counterpart of Darth Vader, Kylo Ren, wears a mask merely to emulate his predecessor, while the character who needs to substitute the emperor Palpatine as the incarnation of supreme evil represents the most serious defect of the film,” he wrote in his scathing review. “Without revealing anything about the character, all we will say is that it is the clumsiest and tackiest result you can obtain from computer graphics.”

But the inquisition against the film, which received much higher praise from most secular outlets, didn’t stop there.

Calling “The Force Awakens” more of a reboot than sequel because of its over reliance on plot and themes from the original “Star Wars” trilogy, Ranzato huffed that zealots who actually liked the movie, now the most popular film in the world, are “more accustomed to sitting in front of a computer than in a cinema.

“(Abrams’ direction is) modeled on the sloppiest current action films derived from the world of video games,” Ranzato continued.

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“The only merit of J.J. Abrams’ film is to show, by contrast, how the direction of the previous films was elegant, balanced and above all appropriate.”

A Vatican insider stressed to NBC News Tuesday that Pope Francis is far removed from the weighing in on such earthly pop culture concerns as “he doesn’t watch movies.”

But L’Osservatore Romano has a history of not turning the other cheek when sermonizing on American films.

L'Osservatore Romano critic Emilio Ranzato didn’t exactly turn the other cheek in his thoughts about director J.J. Abrams’ movie.City Wonders

L’Osservatore Romano critic Emilio Ranzato didn’t exactly turn the other cheek in his thoughts about director J.J. Abrams’ movie.

“Avatar” may be the highest grossing film of all time, but the newspaper dismissed James Cameron’s 2009 sci-fi epic: “Its relevance lies more in its visual impact than in the plot, which is forgettable.”

One of the critics was even underwhelmed by the 2013 Oscar-winning drama, “12 Years a Slave.”

“Despite the strong scenes, everything is flat, suspended between dramatic situations and the aseptic environment,” sniffed the reviewer.

Oddly, The Vatican’s official radio outlet hailed “Spotlight,” an Academy Award contender about the Boston Globe journalists who uncovered the city’s Catholic Church’s protection of pedophile priests, in October as an example of “the inexhaustible and uncontainable force of the truth.” 

esacks@nydailynews.com

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