Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. (2022)
Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul is a rare film that I despised throughout the first act, believing it was a rocky premise that seemed sloppily edited (with explanatory captions appearing in mid-conversations), but it did in fact pull through with a fair unique insightful look at themes ranging from church leadership hypocrisy, the pressure of ones’ spouse, and homosexuality. Honk for Jesus is destined to spark controversy amongst audiences and you and your family (should you think it's best to go see this) will have something to talk about when leaving the theater.
"In the aftermath of a huge scandal, Trinitie Childs (Regina Hall), the first lady of a prominent Southern Baptist Mega Church, attempts to help her pastor-husband, Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown), rebuild their congregation." (IMDB Synopsis).
My favorite film from last year (2021) was The Eyes of Tammy Faye, which shares similar themes with this film regarding church leadership hypocrisy. However, what makes Tammy Faye a far superior film is that film highlighted the beautiful positive qualities of Tammy’s life and you truly fall in love with her character, realizing the story that the media portrayed was not entirely true regarding Tammy.
What makes Honk for Jesus difficult to endure is that you will have no character to cheer for. Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown do a magnificent job at portraying sanctimonious leaders who want nothing more than to put on a show for people and the characters are not likable. They might make you laugh but they are not characters that have any admirable qualities. This is not a film you’re going to leave and feel any sort of empathy for the lead roles. Both leaders are extremely frustrated when they learn that a neighboring church is also opening the same week as they are. Hall’s character has a scene where she belittles Brown’s character's heartfelt sermon because it’s not “moving enough” and it lacks the “wow factor” she’s looking for. There’s a scene where both start singing an explicit rap song.
This “mockumentary” writes over-the-top crude pastoral leaders that, depending on the audience member you are, will have you laughing (due to its character’s shrewd absurdity) and/or make you disgusted at the lives these characters choose to live. I felt the latter with some clever jokes getting a laugh out of me.
So why go see this? The film encompasses appalling insight as to how some professed leaders live. That hypocrisy will either be informative to audiences who don’t see what sometimes goes on in our religious communities or it might fully resonate with the niche audiences involved within church that are living a double life or know someone who is/was a religious public figure that has lived a double life. Additionally, the comedy is decent. One scene shows Regina cursing out a character who is harassing her and she follows up with “God Bless” which got a good laugh from me. From the unique insight not often seen in film regarding church leadership, the hit-or-miss comedy, and the fact that the story is upbeat and told in 1 hour and 42 minutes I would recommend going to check out Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, especially if the premise intrigues you and you can stomach seeing public figures doing things you would not expect them to do.
|Final Verdict:||Unique insight not often seen in film regarding religious hypocrisy and fair comedy packaged briskly in 1 hour and 42 minutes.|