HONK FOR JESUS. SAVE YOUR SOUL. – A Review by Cynthia Flores

HONK FOR JESUS. SAVE YOUR SOUL. – A Review by Cynthia Flores

There is a big difference between lampooning a subject and lambasting it instead. I went into this film hoping to see something akin to great films by Christopher Guest. Such as his hilarious satire movies Best in Show or A Mighty Wind. Both these films took a subject and showed the hypocrisy and earnestness of their leads, using humor to make their point. Unfortunately, Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul leaves behind any moments of humor it may have just to set all its characters on fire and burn them and what they stand for to the ground. In so doing, the movie went from being amusing to just being bitter. 

The film is the story of Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall), the proud first lady of a Southern Baptist megachurch that once served a congregation in the tens of thousands. Together with her husband, Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown), they let a documentary crew follow them around when they start to reopen their church and rebuild their congregation. 

Pastor Childs was forced to temporarily close the church after a scandal involving him and a few young men hit the media. Pastor Lee-Curtis was well-known for his public stance against homosexuals, so his fall from grace was hard. However, they keep telling the film crew that this will be commodified religion’s biggest comeback. Unfortunately for them, pastors Shakura Sumpter (Nicole Beharie) and Keon Sumpter (Conphidance) from the church down the street are in the mix. And they are not ready to give back all the congregation they picked up when Pastor Curtis had his troubles. 

I saw this film at a preview in a theater filled mainly with church people. I noticed that only they and not the heathen film critics got most of the insider jokes. That is one of the main problems this film has. The jokes are aimed at churchgoers, and so is the vitriol. So nonchurch-attending people will not “get” the humor, nor will they particularly care about these hateful characterizations. 

The cast is full of strong, well-known actors and actresses. The lead, Sterling K. Brown, has a huge fan base from the hit TV show This is Us. I am not sure why he took this role. Was it to turn off and offend the loyal fans that This Is Us has built for him? The character of Pastor Curtis is very one-dimensional, and he can do so much more than the director gave him to do here. The only one that gains any sympathy from the audience is Trinitie. Regina Hall takes the thin script she is given and makes you feel sorry for the shallow, sad character of the pastor’s ever-suffering wife. 

I give Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul 1-star. I would have given it 0 stars, but Regina Hall is impressive, showing off her acting skills in this messy film.

 

Directed by: Adamma Ebo

Written by: Adamma Ebo

Rated: R

Selig Rating: 1 Star

Running Time: 1h 42min

Comedy

Release: Wide release in Theaters on September 2nd

Starring: Regina Hall, Sterling K. Brown, Nicole Beharie

 

The Selig Rating Scale:

5 Stars – Excellent movie, well worth the price.

4 Stars – Good movie

3 Stars – OK movie

2 Stars – No need to rush. Save it for a rainy day.

1 Star – Good that I saw it on the big screen but wish I hadn’t paid for it.

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