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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Queen of the South Contacts the Pope

The Man from Rome on IMDb

Plot Overview

Madonna with childgood shepherdA for-hire hacker breaches Vatican security with an urgent appeal to the pope (Franco Nero) to intervene in the planned demolition of Our Lady of Tears Church in Seville, Spain. Monseñor Paolo Spada (Paul Guilfoyle) is brokering a deal with a bank to sell them its sacred heritage property in order to position him­self favorably to become the next pope. They receive municipal sanction for the wind­fall in tax revenue. The bank's vice president Pencho Gavira (Rodolfo Sancho) is soliciting reluctant members of the council to get on board, so he'll be promoted to bank president. His estranged wife Macarena Bruner (Alma Salamanca) & her mother Duquesa Cruz Bruner (Fionnula Flanagan) have historical family rights to the church. They have allied them­selves with the renovation architect Sister Gris Marsala (Alicia Borrachero) and its old parish priest Padre Ferro (Paul Freeman) to save the building at all costs. It has fallen into disrepair through lack of funding. Recently, two fatal accidents on its premises in two months threaten to have it labeled a death trap scaring away tourists and hastening its demise. The pope sends Vatican Father Quart (Richard Armitage) of the Instituto per le Opere Esteriore (exterior institute) to investigate and write a report.

laying tilesThe religious have their own personal problems (“We all have pain that we have to live with”) that somehow get left out of the report. A third death in the building under renovation turns this into a homicide investigation under the auspices of Comisionado Navajo (Víctor Mallarino) who will receive full credit for its resolution in exchange for what evidence Father Quart hands over.


Sacred ThursdayUnder the terms of the ancient land grant, the Bruners' family rights are forfeit if there fails a Thursday mass for the soul of Gaspar the original benefactor. This gives interested parties a motive to kidnap the padre. But once they have him they might as well use him as hostage to force the Bruners to sign over the property out­right. Fr Quart has to move quickly before they move him, which means he has to use what backup's available, namely the Vatican's top security expert Padre Cooey (Carlos Cuevas) come to assist him. Cooey protests, “I'm a geek, not a gunslinger,” but he knows how to shoot a gun from watching movies. In the field that counts for very little for his lack of experience. Fortunately, the old doddering padre has a hidden side having been an Instituto operative him­self some forty years prior in another identity.

spud manspudspudspudWhat forced him into pseudo-retirement was stumbling upon a vast money laundering scheme involving Nazi loot, which makes the Seville caper look like small potatoes. The discrepancy between the huge Vatican wealth and the too-poor-to-be-renovated church is like the health nurse's visit to a ditch digger's family in an E.P. O'Donnell novel:

‘So the Chief said to me, “But look at the husband of that family, with the classic obesity!” So I had to explain it's the people he works for that overfeed him.’

‘Eh, bien.’

‘Yuman pride! Trying to out­shine one another. Doctor Agnew can't under­stand the classic obesity.’

‘And the chirren needs meat!’

‘And the children need meat!’ I was at Durots' one day when Commodore was digging for them. They're having a war with the LaRoques, trying to feed Commodore better than the LaRoques right now. Give a guess what they had for dinner? Lovely veal pocket from town!’

‘And always they mostly live on robins and grocery soup!’

Miss Nellie sighed. ‘If only Commodore could bring home some of those lovely meals—’ (25)

open bookSomebody left an old postcard on the doorstep of the investigator to help him under­stand their family history. It was inserted into the pages of the Nuevo Testamento at a marked passage that would read in our English Protestant Bible, (John 2:15-16) “And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers' money, and over­threw the tables; And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father's house an house of merchandise.”

Production Values

” (2022) was directed by Sergio Dow. It was written by Adrian Bol, Beth Bollinger and Gretchen Cowan based on a book, The Seville Communion. It stars Richard Armitage, Amaia Salamanca and Paul Guilfoyle. The acting was on the level of a high school production, but Armitage displayed some real talent. Mostly the religious were required to wear a peaceful mien, which didn't lend itself to showing off ranges of emotion. The priests all wore clerical collars and crossed them­selves habitually. The hoods displayed tats and smoked cigarettes or chewed gum.

This movie received a certification in Australia of MA15+. The dialogue is pedestrian and the fight scenes stagy. The scenery is nice & not too cluttered. Original music by Roque Baños was perfection. Runtime is 1 hour 56 minutes.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

This one tends to humanize the religious with lots of material for the confessional. The conspiratorial Nazi loot is not dwelled on. Not every Catholic movie is out to make a statement; here it's just part of the plot. There's intrigue cooking but at a slow burn. The geek was out of his depth, the secular police were the heroes, and the investigator's report had holes in it. Catholicism was the dominant religion.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Decent action scenes. Suitability for Children: Suitable for youth 15+ years with guidance. Special effects: Wake up and smell the 1990s technology. Video Occasion: Good for Groups. Suspense: A few suspenseful moments. Overall movie rating: Three stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Software.

O'Donnell, E.P. The Great Big Doorstep. Copyright, 1941, by Edwin P. O'Donnell. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1979. Reprint.