Father Stu (2022)
Ahhhh Catholic priests and boxing, two of my real life workplace worlds collide in cinema- another former profession of mine. All I need is Mark Wahlberg to work as a plumber’s mate who tells me my dog is dead while making a Greek salad and I’ll have no idea where this chain of thought took me and neither will you. No seriously, I used to work for the Catholic church and also for a boxing promoter. Not at the same time, that would be mad, but not Mel Gibson mad.
Mel Gibson is in Father Stu! I love Mel Gibson as an actor, but I wonder how many more of the Catholic Mafia will rock up in the film? Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI hasn’t been upto much since hanging up the Pallium, but I bet his American accent is shakier than Malcom McDowell's.
Father Stu isn’t actually about boxing at all, in fact it is hugely missold on that. Knowing that Wahlberg is a fervent Catholic I was fully expecting a vanity project but then isn’t it a prerequisite of being an A-List Hollywood leading actor that you’re vain? Father Stu is a drama about a real life priest called, oh you know what he’s called, who goes from street-eejit to edgy man of the cloth. While it is bloody obvious where the film is going, and yes, it is very religious, some people like that.
“I’m a Catholic, no sex before marriage.”
“Well ain’t that what confession is for?”
Father Stu could only have been made as a film by someone with an agenda. Some people will love Father Stu, the real life Father Stu being one of them I imagine. While uplifting, it is fleeting and predictable in that aspect. It didn’t leave me completely cold because I’m not a monster; this is just a story that much like a happy-clappy sermon, I wasn’t buying into. Preaching to the choir, not creating converts.
Father Stu feels like a recruitment video, a very expensive one which tries like a desperate priest to be cool, hip, understanding, and while sincere didn’t really engage with me. 5/10. Just.