‘Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul’ review: Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall star in a dark satire about a disgraced megachurch

“Pastor Childs, are the allegations true?” Brown’s Pastor Lee-Curtis Childs is requested close to the outset, whereas leaving the specifics of the scandal purposefully imprecise for a lot of the film.

The particulars are literally comparatively insignificant, because the relentlessly upbeat pastor and his spouse Trinitie (Hall) work to rebuild their Atlanta megachurch, which as soon as boasted 1000’s of parishioners, planning a triumphant reopening on Easter Sunday.

In what appears to be like like an act of hubris, the Childs have additionally invited a documentary crew to tag alongside, fly-on-the-wall fashion, as they go in regards to the course of, though there are sufficient uncomfortable moments that they regularly discover themselves talking on to the unseen filmmakers, asking them to depart out sure materials.

That gadget represents the form of factor that pupil filmmakers use, and writer-director Adamma Ebo — who produced the movie alongside along with her twin sister Adanne, the celebrities, Daniel Kaluuya, and Jordan Peele — may need disbursed with it on this format, although it does serve the aim of forcing Brown and Hall to maintain smiles plastered throughout their faces, whereas rigidity simmers simply beneath the manicured floor as they see their empire slipping away.

Eventually, amid references to “the settlement” paid out to these incorrect, they resort to roadside preaching, a sign of how far the mighty have fallen. They additionally watch their congregants flock to a different church run by a youthful couple (Nicole Beharie, Conphidance), which are not notably good at hiding their curiosity in capitalizing on their rivals’ misfortune — what the previous calls a “landfill of a circumstance.”

Having made its debut on the Sundance Film Festival, “Honk for Jesus” clearly has commentary in regards to the transactional nature of sure non secular outfits baked into the idea, exhibiting off Pastor Childs’ flashy outfits and costly sneakers as proof of those that revenue off their flocks. But that broader facet of the film feels underdeveloped, focusing particularly on the central couple’s plight, and notably the extent to which Trinitie will go, to cite the tune, in standing by her man.

In that sense, the film supplies a stable showcase for Brown and Hall whereas establishing Ebo as a expertise to observe, if not, on this setting, one who utterly delivers.

“I’m not an ideal man,” Pastor Childs concedes at one level.

While “Honk for Jesus” is not an ideal film, give it reward for a minimum of being an attention-grabbing one.

“Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul” premieres Sept. 2 in US theaters and on Peacock. It’s rated R.

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