One Night with the King

Rated 2.0

The Bible story of Esther comes to the screen directed by Michael O. Sajbel and written by Stephan Blinn, from the novel Hadassah by Tommy Tenney and Mark Andrew Olson. It’s a throwback to the biblical cast-of-thousands spectacles of the 1950s, visually lavish but dramatically clumsy. There are impressive computer-generated sets and armies and a solid, torch-lit, lived-in look, but none of the sex, battle scenes or chariot races that used to spice things up. It’s all palace intrigue and endless talk, in huge lumps of stilted dialogue, exacerbated by the uncertain diction of many of the actors. As Esther, Tiffany Dupont is earnestly appealing, while Luke Goss, as the Persian king, looks like the third runner-up in the Fabio Look-Alike Contest. Peter O’Toole, Omar Sharif and John Rhys-Davies support.