Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul movie review
Written and directed by first-timer Adamma Ebo, Honk for Jesus bills itself as a satire but is at its best, like Hall, in more dramatic scenes.
Structured for the most part like a mockumentary, its subjects are preacher Lee-Curtis Childs (Sterling K. Brown) and his wife Trinitie Childs (Hall),
who preside over Wander to Greater Paths, a mega-Southern Baptist church that used to
regularly pack hundreds of believers into its pews until a sex scandal involving Lee-Curtis and several young male congregants forced them to
shut things down. The “documentary,” overseen by a director who never appears on-camera, is supposed to track Lee-Curtis’s triumphant return to
the pulpit, but there’s not nearly as much triumph to capture as Lee-Curtis seems to believe.
It’s a shame that the rest of Honk for Jesus doesn’t have the same power, from a comedic or storytelling point of view.
Ebo does have a decent eye; she uses wide shots effectively,
notably in a scene where Trinitie can be seen entering a gym in the background just as Lee-Curtis
has finished hitting on one of the male members of the documentary crew in the foreground.
But Honk for Jesus gets as lost in its search for a message as Lee-Curtis and
Trinitie do in their quest for redemption. It’s a film whose prayers never lead to an answer.