Redemption Road Reviews
It wants to talk about spirituality, but it seems afraid to really do so. Mixing talk of AA's 'higher power' with subliminal Christian verbiage ends up diluting and confusing things. The result is a higher power credited with creating the universe and therefore our sexual instincts and therefore 'down with' casual sex. There's a huge emphasis on forgiveness, without any real context for it. What higher power insists on forgiveness after first providing it? Redemption from what, by whom? Why is sacrifice for anyone else worth it?
This film seems to want to take all of the powerful benefits of Christianity and Scripture while gutting it of any of the specifics, anything that might crimp our style or otherwise pin us down. As such, the film is hollow because the theology it seeks to draw from has been hollowed out.
And has Hollywood so quickly forgotten the disaster of "Crossroads" nearly 25 years ago? Why is it that films about the blues always feature talentless white guys who are supposed to be musical phenoms, while the genuine geniuses are relegated to barely credited backup music scenes? Frustrating!
As for Morgan Simpson, who has the lead in this movie, he was completely unknown to me but I was sold on his performance. He wrote the story so he had the benefit of knowing exactly what his character was suppose to feel and why.
The story has a few weak spots but they do not deter the viewer from keeping focused on all the good points. To use an expression in the film, Duncan delivers some fortune cookie wisdom, but it is no less valuable wisdom as far as I was concerned. Even the music delivers wisdom to those who pay attention. The music in the movie is really good, unless you hate the blues and country styles (especially the blues). The story has in the first 75% to 80% of the movie a well planned set-up for a surprise you don't see coming and which may bring tears to some viewers with kinder hearts. Thankfully, Skerritt's character made a point in the movie that you need to cry sometimes to purge the sadness that will otherwise weigh you down and it feels better after. We all know that to be true.
Good blues music through out the film helped carry you along the redemption story.
A great watch.