13 July 2018 | infoalwaysacritic
A Decent Movie for a Specific Audience
Faith-based films have, in my experience, been hit-or-miss, though lately there have been several more "watchable" offerings; The Resurrection of Gavin Stone happens to be one of them.
Brett Dalton plays Gavin Stone, a washed up child-star turned hollywood bad-boy who is sentenced to 200 hours of community service at a church in his hometown. Rather than doing maintenance, he convinces the church to let him play Jesus in its annual production. Along the way he is introduced to some humourous stereotypes of christianity and a jaded love interest with a painful history. Part humour, and part drama, The Resurrection of Gavin Stone is heartfelt for people who have a history in the church, though maybe a little stinging to those who've had a bad experience in a church.
Your experience of this film will largely depend on what you bring into it. If you come to it looking for another offering of Brett Dalton, you're likely in for a disappointment - not a failing in hiaas acting, but because the script will only be understood by a specific audience. Neil Flynn plays a role you've probably seen him in before, DB Sweeney is largely in the background and Anjelah Johnson-Reyes does a reasonable job in her role.
To people unfamiliar with christian stereotypes, a large portion of the script will fall flat. Many of the jokes reference names of songs, hymns and in some cases the writers tried to break the stereotypical expectation of a church service. If this is your type of humour, then you'll find plenty of laughter to supplement the impending transformation of its main character.
Gavin Stone is a self-absorbed and selfish man, but wouldn't likely be perceived as such by people outside of a pious church. The film leaves the audience to imagine this side of his character by repeatedly referencing a set of incriminating pictures and a vague description of partying with a catapult. When Gavin's crisis of purpose comes, you get a very quick glimpse into his prior life, this and another character's own faith journey may bear some relatable points to christians who share a common history, and that can be heart-felt. One notable scene wherein Gavin participates in helping someone in need was enhanced by my knowledge that the cars program and many like it truly exist.
Overall the film is enjoyable and reasonably acted for members of a church or on their own faith-journey to enjoy. It is doubtful that this one would have a large appeal outside of the church.