21 February 2013

Movie Review: "The Imposter" (2010)

Rated: Not Rated
Starring: Kevin Max, Kerry Livgren, and Jeff Deyo
Released: March 23, 2010 (DVD)
Synopsis: Johnny C. is the lead singer of Grand_design, the most popular Christian rock band there is.  Unfortunately, his lifestyle doesn't match his songs; not only is he cheating on his wife, but he is also abusing drugs, and his narcissism only makes matters worse.  When his wife takes their daughter and leaves, and his bandmates kick him out, everything looks bleak...but Johnny isn't going to give up.  Will he make the right choice and give up his sinful ways, or will he keep going down the wrong path?

Warning! The following sections include possible spoilers!

Story: 5/5
We've all seen the movies where the protagonist simply starts down the right path, and all goes well for him/her, right? Well, this is not one of those films.  Though Johnny C. finds God, things don't immediately work out perfectly by the time the credits roll...but that's the beauty of this flick.  As a morality play, this one works really well.

Production Values: 4.5/5
The acting is good, though not always great.  Kevin Max and Jeff Deyo are musicians, not actors, but they still do moderately well nonetheless.  Some of the secondary characters, such as Johnny's wife, Tara, and Popeye, the homeless guy Johnny meets, are played by experienced actors, and it shows.  Where the film really shines is the music; when you have one member each of dc Talk, Sonicflood, and Kansas as your leads, you know you're in for a sonic feast.  Kevin Max also has a wonderful narrating voice; seriously, he should consider doing an audiobook. (Are you reading this, Mr. Max?) Unfortunately, the poorly done subtitles that seem to plague all Pure Flix DVDs are present here, too.

Special Features: 4/5
Along with a few previews, there are three great music videos and a commentary track.  The one problem is "Unmasking the Characters," which features good cast interviews, but isn't as in-depth as they make it sound, and suffers from an opening sequence that is repeated four times in less than nine minutes.

Moral Content: 3.5/5
You may have a young dc Talk or Kevin Max fan in your house, but this film isn't for little children.  Drug use is implied, and a "baggie" of pills is shown.  There is also discussion of Johnny "sleeping around" and "mentally undressing that woman," though he is never seen in bed with anyone.  Johnny gets beat up in one scene, and is left with a bruise on his face.  Drinking and smoking gets slight screen time.  All that may sound sinful--and it is--but the film vilifies it as just that.  Still, that may be a bit much for young kids.  Elsewhere, unkind terms such as "stupid fool" and "suck" are used.

Conclusion: As a longtime fan of both dc Talk and K-Max, this movie was a dream come true for me.  I was devastated when I found out that dcT's Free at Last: The Movie was nothing more than a documentary, and I've always thought Mr. Max's album The Imposter, which came out a few years before this same-titled film, had some songs that would work great on a movie soundtrack.  So, to have K-Max starring in a real movie, featuring his own music, is awesome.  Unfortunately, some people will either ignore this film, or avoid it because Mr. Max is in it; I once heard a friend describe him as "the guy from dc Talk who never really did anything."  Well, with this film, Kevin Max is back, and he did something that neither Tait nor TobyMac have done yet. (T-Mac's film credits are limited to soundtrack contributions and that dcT documentary, and Tait's are the same...minus the former.) The Imposter is a great movie with a wonderful story; what I wonder is: Does Johnny's turn-and-repent mirror what really happened in K-Max's life?  The world may never know.

Score: 4.75/5

No comments:

Post a Comment