BELIEVE ME

BELIVE ME is a somewhat “Christian” movie that we were approached to review from film distributor Heritage Films, a distributor from Queensland that promotes feel good, “religious-toned” movies. That doesn’t mean they are all preaching movies, they are just movies with high morales. Their philosophy; “The vision of our company is well summed up in our passionate belief that movies change people, and people change the world.” I can live by that philosophy, I picture a lot of feel good movies, one of my favourite genres. Kernel Jordan reviews the first movie from Heritage Films for us to review, BELIEVE ME, and I will be honest, he was not a fan, sadly it did not meet up to expectations. It has a pretty decent cast and we have a few movies form Heritage Films in the works. All the best……..JK.

 

BELIEVE ME MOVIE POSTER IMAGE
BELIEVE ME | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | MOVIE POSTER IMAGE

 

BY JORDAN DODD

At first, it is hard to tell if this movie is preaching or if it is a satire of religious fanatics.

The film begins by introducing us to four friends, and one of them needs money for his tuition, fast. Their idea: to scam Christians by acting as a charity for clean water in Africa. So far not so bad, though either the script or the acting makes everything seem very forced. The group of four friends is also extremely stereotypical; we have the one with a moral compass (doubling as the token black guy), we have the deviant who comes up with the plan, we have the charismatic guy who just goes with the flow, why also having an extremely distracting southern accent (which seems to come and go), and of course a slower fourth member whose movements even resemble a character that could be played by Seth Rogan.

After the plan is decided on, despite doubts from the other three, we suddenly see a rather pointless montage of people drinking and playing cards. Is this scene supposed to appeal to a certain demographic? Or was it there to take attention away from the religion? Either way it is extremely clichéd and definitely out of place within the film.

From the film’s outset, it is almost immediately apparent how it will end, more or less, giving the film no suspense at all as we know what is going to happen next most of the time. It is also extremely hard to believe what is happening, and many, many scenes suffer from this problem. A perfect example of this is their first big presentation, the boys’ first night on stage. Sam, the one who came up with the idea is stumbling on stage and the crowd is not reacting to him at all, muttering amongst themselves. This is probably because he is yelling “Praise God” over and over while also stuttering through the story of Jesus walking on water. Sam asks why Jesus walked on water, and actually says something about God sending him a rowboat! The crowd are now talking freely amongst themselves, until suddenly some uplifting, feel-good music rises up behind him and he begins to put the word God in every sentence he says. He also says the words “do you believe?” several times. He also says the words “Do you believe that God still does miracles?” He actually says those words. Think about how poor that sentence is. Yet the dead crowd miraculously does a 180 degree turn in reaction to his meaningless words, and he winds up receiving a standing ovation.

 

BELIEVE ME ALEX RUSSELL IMAGE
BELIEVE ME | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SAM (ALEX RUSSELL)

 

Now, looking past the fact that the entire scene is hilariously unbelievable, this is an insult to Christian people. This movie paints Christians as gullible sheep who can’t pick a false preacher if it bit them on the arse. It paints them as people who play songs with the word Jesus simply repeated over and over. It paints them as if they are all the same, wanting to give out of guilt no matter how bad the preacher is.

Now these things may well be true, I don’t know as I am not Christian, but it often feels like the movie is going out of its way to show how ignorant Christians are. Which is ironic and a little amusing given that the movie is obviously motivated by religion if you take a proper look at it.

Another example of the unbelievable elements of the film can be seen in the flyers that they are handing out. It looks like it was done in three minutes, yet this doesn’t draw any suspicion from anyone, even the people running the show. This trend of total ignorance continues for far, far too long.

Another mark against this film is its attempts at humour. None of it works in any way, the only laughs I got from this film were unintentional on the film’s behalf. The only thing that put a smile on my face was Nick Offerman’s character, who unfortunately was only in one early scene. He essentially plays his Ron Swanson character, just a little more loopy. I have no idea why he is attached to a film like this but I do wish there was more of him; the one scene he is in is probably the most memorable, and is probably the only funny part of the entire film.

 

BELIEVE ME ALEX RUSSELL IMAGE
BELIEVE ME | SALTY POPCORN MOVIE REVIEW | SAM (ALEX RUSSELL) LAYING DOWN A PLAN

 

While on the surface this seems like it is poking fun at Christians, on a more subtle and subliminal level this film is preaching extremely loudly. I’m not sure if this movie is made only for Christians, but anyone with the skill of observation will be able to see the motivations behind this film, which to me don’t seem Christian at all. Oh, the irony.

I wanted to enjoy this movie, I really did. There is a lot wrong with it, but its biggest problem by far is its misguided motivation, as it pokes fun at Christians and insults them, despite the movie being obviously pro-Christianity. It was very hard to like this film. If you can tolerate these things, I think the movie could be enjoyed by Christians, as it has a good heart. It is just the execution that isn’t quite there. Other than religious folk I can’t see much of an audience for this – it is just too stereotypical and unbelievable.

 

1 and a Half Pops

 

 

Kernel Jordan is a professional obsessionist, ‘writer’ of the truth and untruth, movie-review enthusiast, drummer, epileptic and bi-polar alien from a place far away….. He can also be stalked at his own site HERE.