Someone who neither has much experience with megachurches nor much love for satirical comedies probably has no right reviewing the satirical comedy Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul., but life isn’t always fair (but have faith!) and so here we are.
Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall star as a megachurch pastor and his seemingly dutiful wife/collaborator in writer/director Adamma Ebo’s feature length debut, which falls flat much more often than it evokes chuckles. Even of the merciful sort.
Brown and Hall are a good comedic pairing, but the satire is so dry, the comedy so understated that Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul. is largely a painful exercise in watching the two actors desperately struggle in front of the camera for two hours. It’s like watching the first draft of an amateur comedian on stage, before they’ve figured out what lands and what to cut. Like I said, painful.
There are some funny bits, and both stars try their darndest, but I’m not even convinced they understood most of the comedy at hand.
I’m not religious, nor have any experience with megachurches and televangelists other than having a strong belief that the people who lead such organizations are either batshit crazy, manipulative, or both–so while I may be partial to a scathing comedy of religious leaders, I could see this appealing more to people who grew up going to churches like this.
But I’m not going to give Honk for Jesus a pass, holy or otherwise. We didn’t need to know anything about dog shows to appreciate Best in Show, for starters (imagine if Christopher Guest had directed his normal cast of characters for this!). Honk for Jesus is a trying experience of the hellish variety; this one needed some divine intervention, but didn’t get it.
Review by Erik Samdahl unless otherwise indicated.