Black Easter (2021)

Black Easter (2021) Cover

Black Easter opens in theaters and VOD on May 14th and is a re-cut of director/writer Jim Carroll’s previous Christian Sci-Fi film, Assassin 33 A.D.. Black Easer might be a fun experience for those who are already invested in the Christian premise. For anyone else, this will come off as a convoluted mish mash due to the far fetched mission and confusing aspects of time travel. There are good charming moments that believers of the faith can admire.

A scientist named Ram (Morgan Roberts) and his co-workers discover how to build a time machine but soon realize that their boss Ahmed (Gerado Davila) is a corrupt extremist who wants to use this invention to go back in time and kill Jesus Christ before he is crucified. The stakes are high and the faith of Ram and his friends will be tested immensley. 

Just like I mentioned in my review of Assassin 33 A.D.: “The plot has an undeniable comparison to The Terminator (someone sent back in time to kill someone important) and the film acknowledges this as Jesus tells a present day character named Simon, ‘I’ll be back,’ and Simon replies, ‘That’s not your movie!’”

The screenplay brings forth mass amounts of clarification in the form of voiceover from the protagonist and lower thirds that are used frequently to specify which timeline we are in. While you often feel like you have a guide to help you with the story, the nature of the time-travel plot is irritatingly confusing with multiple timelines and the “new present” having to “download” new things that have happened since time was changed. The ideas are communicated probably the best they could have but they’re all a bit intricate that it feels like we are being spoon fed (via voiceover) a plot that is not easy for most people’s brain to digest- therefore it sometimes feels implausible. If seeing a fresh innovative story about Jesus catches your interest you may not mind muddling through the tedious plot to uncover a creative story that does indeed have some touching moments amongst its characters.

The best aspect of Black Easter is its characters and the motivations that they have to do what it is that they do. Ahemed is not simply a “bad evil guy”; the film sheds light on why he makes the decisions that he does and, while you may not agree with the choices he makes, one can understand why he is making those decisions. The same can be said of all the other characters. Ram is a smart scientist and, despite having no faith, cares for his friends and family, which makes him a likable lead character.

Cinematography looks fair considering Black Easter was not produced by a major studio. However, the introduction contains cringy stock footage to compliment the question posed to the audience, “What would you do if you could go back and change time?” While I appreciate the efforts to offer a visual stimulus when setting the table for the movie, the style of that footage does not match anything else in the film. It clearly looks like generic stock and, therefore, was a bit distracting. Other than this opening and another short scene involving the world in turmoil (which I thought looked cheaply made), camera shots throughout the majority of the film, including digital effects, look fine and composed proficiently.

Final Verdict:If seeing an innovative faith based story catches your interest you may not mind muddling through a tedious plot that does indeed have some touching moments.