BELIEVE ME – A Review by John Strange

Believe Me - alex-russell-in-believe-me-movie-4
By: John ’Doc’ Strange
Directed by: Will Bakke
Cast: Alex Russell, Zachary Knighton, Johanna Braddy, Miles Fisher, Sinqua Walls, Max Adler, featuring Lecrae, with Nick Offerman, Christopher McDonald
MPAA Rating: PG-13 (for some language)
Selig Rating: FULL PRICE
Runtime: 93 Min.
Sam Atwell (Alex Russell) discovers that his scholarship has run out leaving him owing over $9000 for his final semester.  Without paying the money, he doesn’t graduate.  As the college official who drops this bomb on Mr. Atwell, the director cast Nick Offerman. He was the perfect choice with his deadpan face with red-rimmed eyes who offers a shot of liquor from the bottle he keeps in the desk drawer after dropping this bomb on Sam.
Sam goes back to the house in a daze.  He is talked into going to church with his best friend, Pierce (Miles Fisher) on a double date.  There Sam watches the church’s missionary group soliciting funds to help kids in Africa.  When he discovers how much the group is pulling in he hatches the plan to prey on this fervor to make the money needed to get him out of the hole.
He talks his friends into working with him for a share of the loot.  At their first rally, they are approached by the promoter for Cross Country (the number 2 religious promotion company in the country), Ken Huffman (Christopher McDonald).  His spiel really grabs them, especially the part about bringing in about a QUARTER OF A MILLION DOLLARS!
This is a story filled with greed and religion, love and lust, jealousy and compassion.  The boys, or as they are called on the tour, The God Squad, all have “Come to Jesus” moments along the way.  But is it enough to save them or are they going to get caught and sent to jail for embezzlement and more?
This film has a lot of elements that make buddy films work; good plot, recognizable bad guys (Gabriel played ably by Zachary Knighton), sweet and a bit sexy ingénues (Johanna Braddy as Callie, Ken’s #2 on the tour), and best of all, a clothing line they call – Cross Dressing!  Bottom line is that Believe Me works.  Believe me.
The Selig Rating Scale:
FULL PRICE – Excellent movie, well worth the price
MATINEE – Good movie
DOLLAR – OK movie
CABLE – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.
FREEBIE – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn't paid for it.
COMMERCIAL TV – Commercials and cutting to the allotted time will not hurt this one.
FORGET IT! – Bad. If you see this one, do yourself a favor and keep it to yourself.
GET YOUR TORCHES – BAD! – Burn the script, the writer, the director and maybe even the actors!
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