4.5/10 As much as I enjoy movies based upon true stories, especially ones I am not all that familiar with and can learn a thing or two about, “Infidel” ends up feeling like a forgettable movie that should have gone straight to VOD. Since the Coronavirus pandemic, we’ve seen big budget theatrical films either get delayed or go straight to VOD (“Trolls: World Tour”, “Mulan”). Since theaters are largely open again, the voids left by those big budget films need to be filled so we have seen many smaller, more independent movies that would normally go straight to VOD get a shot at a theatrical life. “Infidel” feels like one of those movies that, under normal circumstances, would have gone straight to VOD. However, since theaters need movies to show, movies like this are filling those voids and doing decent business. “Infidel” feels like a straight to VOD release because the production values are pretty low rate. The locations and costumes are strong but some of the set pieces, visual effects, camera work, etc. wreaks of low budget film making. One could argue the film makers were just working with what they had, which is true, but a low budget doesn’t excuse a mediocre script. There are some cheesy lines and even our main protagonist character, played by Jim Caviezel, has problems. Besides his character being rather dull and bland for a leading man, he is playing this Christian character who is willing to preach on behalf of Jesus Christ in the Middle East, putting his own life in danger. Now we have seen strong, religious characters recently with the lead characters in “Unbroken” and “Hacksaw Ridge”. In both of those films, our lead religious characters are tested on extreme levels but their faith remains unwavering. Here, our lead Christian character drops F bombs and cusses rather frequently. Now as a Christian myself who drops F bombs and cusses rather frequently, I wouldn’t judge anyone for using some colorful language under the circumstances of what this guy really went through but in conveying a character as extremely strong in his faith to have him cuss as much as he did seemed counterproductive. There was a subplot with Caviezel’s wife struggling with her faith after the loss of a child that is brought up but gets abandoned and goes nowhere. When the movie ends, there is no on screen text telling us anything about what really happened or any details that took place after the movie ends, which was very frustrating. There is some decent action, intrigue, solid performances and strong pacing to be found here but overall, this is a pretty vanilla telling of a true story that lacks the passion that more talented film makers display. Feel free to check it out on VOD with low expectations, but you need to see this on the big screen about as much as Americans need to keep traveling to dangerous places in the Middle East and then get surprised when bad things happen to them.
#ThePassionOfTheSliced / #InfiDeliverUsFromEvil / #CairoVsAid / #IranBackToAmerica / #MusicByTheInfidelfonics / #RawlinsInTheDeepState