Rob Reviews "Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul."
On our show, we spend quite a bit of time talking about how hard it will be for certain films to get knocked out of our Top Ten list at the end of the year. As the year goes on, that possibility gets tougher and tougher while at the same time we are hitting what is known as “award season” where the studios want their films submitted for recognition do their best to be the last thing on our minds and fresh on our ballots.
“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.” does NOT have that problem.
From first time feature director Adamma Ebo (who also wrote this… script), Sterling K. Brown and Reginal Hall are the Reverend Lee-Curtis Childs and First Lady Trinitie Childs respectively, the pastors of a Baptist “mega-church” in Atlanta, Georgia. The story begins as Lee-Curtis is preparing to re-open the church doors after his actions have disgraced him and his ministry leaving to a mass exodus (pun intended) of his over 2,500 member congregation by hiring a documentary crew to record their journey to rise from the ashes of their past. They have chosen Easter Sunday as the day to re-open their doors while dealing with the collateral damage from his transgressions, their five faithful parishioners (literally), and a younger couple in ministry who are fast rising in the ranks (Conphidance and Nicole Beharie).
There are a number of big names involved in this film including Jordan Peele, but the question of why keeps coming to mind. I am not sure if Ebo showed them the final shooting script for a film that is not sure if it wants to be a mockumentary, dark comedy, satire, parody, or any combination therein; if he did, I have a whole different set of questions to ask. This is terrible on almost every level with acting that is so tongue-in-cheek I am shocked there was no reports of plastic surgery after principal photography to the cutaway shots of interviews that want to be “The Office” so bad it can taste it to attempts at realism that just… aren’t. It all wraps up in a way that I am sure is supposed to reflect reality, but it also felt like they just ran out of story and just decided to cut to black and roll the credits.
If there is any saving grace (again, pun intended) to this film is that it is shot well. By changing the aspect ratio to keep the documentary footage differentiated from the “real” footage did its best to help me keep track of what was going on. There were times where it cut back and forth A LOT, but I was still there to follow it.
If you are asking if as a man of faith I am being too harsh here, I don’t believe that I am. I do my best to understand the difference between faith and religion (which is another topic for another time), and “Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.” really doesn’t do favors for either of those although it REALLY leans in on the latter of the two in the worst possible light (also could be a pun, but probably not).