Once in a while you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right” – Grateful Dead

Stop me if you heard this one before: A evangelical Pastor (Pierce Brosnon), an Atheist (Ed Harris), and a Deadhead (Greg Kinnear) walk into a bar office and… shit, I forget how it goes.  I never could tell a good joke.  Thankfully, writer/director George Ratliff (Hell House/Joshua) can, and does, in his religious satire Salvation Boulevard.

The spotlight – or holy light if you will – of the film centers on Kinnear‘s Deadhead character, Carl, the good-guy-who-bad-things-happen-to in order to move the plot along sap.  He gets framed for murder, kidnapped (more than once), doused in gasoline, well… you get the point – humorous situation after humorous situation.  The dude just can’t seem to get a break.  And when the comedy of good-natured Carl’s struggle to return to normality aren’t taking place, the farcical and in-your-face irony of Brosnon‘s Pastor Dan and his self-righteous path to perdition are.

Regardless of the hot topic and easy-to-poke-fun-at target of religion being either discussed or eluded to in just about every scene, Ratliff’s slapstick direction assures the viewer a good time will be had, and that nothing should be taken too seriously.  In other words, you can bring your religious friend/family member to see this and not worry about them being offended.  This is unless of course your friend/family member is of the complete religious lunatic kind likeCarrie‘s mother was.

Far from any existential excursion, the film goes out of its way to wrap itself up in a non-controversial tidy package, even going so far as to have on-screen written epilogues for every character.  Without going into a tirade on my feelings over on-screen written epilogues as a story-telling (de)vice, I’ll just say that I’m not a fan of this way to round out a character’s arc technique.

Those looking for subtle humor and dry Coen Brother-esque wit will surely be disappointed with this film.  If you’re seeking a good summer comedy/adventure without big Hollywood explosions,(actually, there is one explosion in the movie) then by all means make your way towards Salvation Boulevard.

Salvation Boulevard opens at Landmark Theaters on Friday, August 12th.


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Categories: Reviews

3 Comments on “SALVATION BOULEVARD: Review and Trailer”

  1. nana1
    August 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm #

    Ok, I am hooked. Pierce. Greg, and others, great cast. Now if I can just find it in our area, in a safe no/guns allowed zone. lol Maybe can get it soon via ON DEMAND. They are posting more indie films lately.
    Will let you know if I can get to see it.
    PS, not an indie film but Rango is a must see for those that love Westerns(hubby) and those not so crazy about them(me). Not really a kids movie, one delicious take off/take down on any western you can possibly think of. Seen it four times already and each time it and Johnny D. funnier.

  2. Adam
    August 7, 2011 at 10:33 pm #

    Yeah, I think this film would be right up your alley. As for Rango, I too enjoyed it, but 5 times!!!? I’ll probably see it again when it’s nominated for best animated feature, just to compare it with what else gets nominated, even though I hate the Oscars.

    Speaking of animated films this year, you should try and hunt down the film “A CAT IN PARIS”. You’ll love it.

    • nana1
      August 8, 2011 at 8:18 am #

      Thanks, will do, try to get some indies in prior to school starting on 22nd! Saw five times with three grandchildren in there and twice with Mike, He is already imitating Rango walking. Just lovely…..

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