With a muddled message, Honk For Jesus. Save Your Soul. lands in mediocrity

Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and Trinity Childs (Regina Hall) sitting on their diminished thrones.

Promotional Material Courtesy of: Ejime Productions

Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and Trinity Childs (Regina Hall) sitting on their diminished thrones.

Diving into the harsh realities of mega churches, Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul, released Sept. 2, is littered with repetitive punch lines and slapstick humor, taking away from its serious message. Based upon Adamma Ebo’s 15-minute short film bearing the same title, the hour and 42-minute feature fails to meet the standard of its predecessor.

The film highlights pastor Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) as he attempts to rebuild a once prominent Southern Baptist mega church. After a lengthy lawsuit and the church’s name left tarnished, Lee-Curtis has to drive the church’s membership up to its former glory.

The film portrays the rigid expectations of the church, summed up best by Trinity Child’s (Regina Hall) attempts to stay with Lee-Curtis despite his past actions. No matter the obstacle, even in this case where Lee-Curtis abused 17-year-old Khalil (Austin Curte), their marriage vows still bound the pair. 

The film’s 15-minute predecessor effectively called out the frequent scandals of mega churches, with comedy smoothly laid throughout. However, in the elongated version, the jokes seem to be drawn out. The comedic methods that the couple used to gain an audience in their recovery were repetitive, taking away from the overall comedic effect. 

That said, the actors held true to their roles. Hall always seemed to be hesitant, knowing that she shouldn’t support her husband, giving her character an awkward appeal. Lee-Curtis complimented this through his unwillingness to address the realities of his actions. Rather than admitting his wrongs, Lee-Curtis uses the Bible to support his action, juxtaposing the whole situation as a mere blunder. 

While the actors fit their characters, the script failed. Lines felt misplaced, with jokes coming off as awkward rather than funny. During heartfelt scenes where Khalil conveys his hatred for Lee-Curtis, jokes were consistently made, distracting the viewer. While filming could have been this film’s saving grace, it proved to be average. There were no thought-provoking compositions and a generic suburban setting. However, there were no awkwardly timed or repetitive cuts, making the film bearable. 

While the film did have its low points, it wasn’t objectively terrible. It would leave the viewer with a few laughs and not waste almost two hours of the viewer’s life. With this, I rate the film three out of five feathers.