JESUS REVOLUTION (2023)
Release Date: 09/02/23 [Cinemas / Peacock]
Studio: Focus Features
"The true story of a national spiritual awakening in the early 1970's and its origins within a community of teenage hippies in Southern California."
OUR MOVIE REVIEW:
Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. is a promising, yet ultimately undercooked film with some interesting concepts that fall just short of provocative social commentary. What worked was the performances. Regina Hall and Sterling K Brown carry the film all the way through with tight timing and stellar dedication. What made the film fall to the wayside is its inconsistency in structure.
Trinitie Childs and her husband Lee-Curtis Childs invite a camera crew to document the re-opening of their Southern Baptist megachurch after a hiatus following a scandal involving pastor Lee-Curtis. Through their struggles to get the church back up and running, they clash with a nearby church who adopted much of their old congregation, and they learn that they aren’t so welcome back into the community.
The frustrating thing is that Honk For Jesus never really fully commits to one idea. The movie opens as a mockumentary being filmed about the couple. Then it switches to a narrative comedy, then back to mockumentary but suddenly it’s super dark and dramatic, leaving me confused if I was watching a satire or not. A lot of the themes are very real, but before we can explore that more deeply as an audience, there’s another tonal shift back to what I can only assume is supposed to be a dark comedy. I found it hard to follow when the genres clash this much.
The film’s social critique of the flashy life in the megachurch is some of the most interesting and developed aspects of the movie. Trinitie choses to stay with her husband despite all their troubles and the fact all Lee-Curtis has done is humiliate her. We see firsthand some of the behind the scenes hypocrisies many real for-profit organizations fall into when you pull the curtain back. The film doesn’t focus on asking what you would do, but more so shows you the reality of what happens when the people at the top do bottom of the barrel stuff, and who actually pays for it.
What sucked for me as the viewer was getting my hopes up every time I felt like I was starting to get into it, only to get confused all over again with another tonal switch. Especially since the trailer seems to be selling a slapstick comedy, I continued to wait for the ball to drop and the film to reveal itself but it never did.
While I found it to be a little disappointing, it's not the worst way to spend an hour and a half if you’re looking for a quick movie night flick. Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. is now streaming on Peacock!