Review: Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul.

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Directed by: Adamma Ebo

Written by: Adamma Ebo

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

Rating: [3/5]

Hypocrisy and Christianity go pretty much hand-in-hand as it teaches to live life like its savior while the religious leaders live like absolute kings. They tell others to live a modest life while not practicing that themselves. However, it is rare that they are properly called out by individuals who can make a difference. Honk for Jesus, Save Your Soul looks to make a mockery of this hypocrisy, and while it falters on many occasions, the performances at the forefront more than make it worth watching. 

Following a scandal of having homosexual relations, pastor Lee-Curits Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and his wife, Trinitie (Regina Hall) had their church closed while they dealt with the litigation involved. With them hoping to re-open their church, they try to clear their name along with the upcoming battle of a new church potentially siphoning away their congregation. 

Starting out in mockumentary style, the foolish nature of the individuals in this story seeks not only to show the ridiculousness of these characters but also their obscene obliviousness as to what image they are sharing about themselves to the world. They hope to show this incredible fall and rise but basically continue to demonstrate why they do not deserve the type of lifestyle they want to live. From the fancy clothes in their closets to their audacious pool, the Childs live an incredibly lavish lifestyle all under the image that they prosper because God has allowed them to do so. 

It makes it all the funnier that the Childs hired a renowned documentary filmmaker to document their rise and only continue to show their foolishness as anyone would bow to their whims to paint this as anything other than a new attempt to siphon off money from parishioners and not some God-given duty they want to accomplish for the good of the world. It makes the moments where they look to the camera and ask the director to cut or edit out that portion all the more hilarious seeing as they are the only ones not noticing that they are the butt of the joke in this situation, everyone else is just there for the car crash they are about to witness. 

However, the best thing about this feature comes from the dynamic of Trinitite and Lee-Childs as they try to continually delude themselves. Regina Hall, without question, takes this whole movie and eats it up in a way only she can. Her comedic chops are legendary and she’s proving she’s still in fine form in the way she portrays this character. Both a fool in her diligence to keep this lifestyle when the inevitable is staring at her straight in the face, but also a melancholic acceptance that she has made these decisions in her life and will have to live with the consequence. She is, after all, still married to a man who cheated on her with various men. Basic reason indicates that she should leave Lee-Childs but she absolutely refuses for reasons laid out in the film. Nothing sums up the desperate and sad nature of this character is the mime routine that happens at a later junction of the narrative. A particularly long take with clown makeup highlights everything happening in this sham. Hall delivers it with such emphasis and candor that reminds you what makes her such a great. 

As funny as the film is as a whole, it does stumble on many occasions and ultimately drag through parts of the second and third act. Moments where the point was already delivered but it kept getting belabored in a way that made the runtime get felt as we got to the end of the feature. I would say the first half of the feature does much of the heavy lifting in terms of quality as the second falters as the film limps across to the finish line. 

With all that being said, this film is still a hoot in the way it pokes fun at prosperity gospel Christians and their blatant hypocrisy. It allows for several moments where Lee-Childs and Tinitie get called out for exactly who they are in quite a satisfying manner. It makes for such a funny experience as a whole even if it stumbles towards the end and so much of that comes from the incredible job done by Regina Hall as she carries so much of the humor held within this film on her shoulders.

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