23 June 2014

Movie Review: "Rust"

Rated: PG for thematic material, some disturbing images, smoking, and mild language
Starring: Corbin Bernsen, Lorne Cardinal, and Lloyd Warner
Released: October 5, 2010 (DVD)
Years ago, James Moore (Corbin Bernsen) left his small-town home behind to pursue a job as a preacher.  When he returns to his old stomping grounds, he finds out about a case of arson that killed an entire family.  James' childhood friend has been implicated for the crime, but James isn't all that sure that his old buddy is guilty.  Determined to find out the truth, James believes his friend is innocent...but, with familial problems and his own faith in crisis, finding out the real story may be too much for James to handle.
Also produced, written, and directed by Corbin Bernsen.

The Good
Most people love a good mystery, and, at its core, that's what this movie is.  However, Rust is more than just a traditional whodunit; it's a story of one man rediscovering his faith and his family.  It's actually one of the best-produced Christian movies I've seen; maybe that's because mainstream star Corbin Bernsen is behind it.  Positive elements abound: dedication to friends and family, looking out for your fellow man, believing in God even when times are hard, etc.

The Bad
For one, this movie was a bit difficult to get through.  I usually don't watch movies in one sitting, but, it took me nearly a week to watch it, even though its running time was about an hour and a half.  Also, some of the content is disturbing, especially when a police officer says that a boy "blew his own brains out".  Granted, it's not shown, but one's mind's eye can paint a grisly picture.  I was also surprised that this movie would feature Bernsen's character--a preacher, no less--using the word "hell" in a profane way.  Other than that and a misuse of God's name here and there, it seems like the screenwriter--Bernsen himself--went out of his way to avoid profanity, such as having the teens say, "Holy cow!" when they're trying to get away from a fire.  Most teenagers--even Christian ones--would likely use stronger words in such a perilous situation.  I don't want to give away the ending, so, I'll just say this: The conclusion, though logical, felt a bit rushed.

Rust is pretty much Corbin Bernsen's show; he wrote it, produced it, directed it, and played the main character.  Pretty much every other individual who starred in it is a no-name; a commentary track mentioned that a lady who appeared in the movie as a waitress actually was one, and was "very happy" to be able to appear in a nationally released film.  As a Christian movie, it works; it doesn't fall into the pitfalls that plague many such films, such as shoddy production values (C Me Dance) or everything suddenly going right when someone chooses to follow Jesus (Grace Unplugged).  That said, I doubt most viewers would want to watch this again and again; if you're interested in seeing it, go find it at your local library or rental store.

Score: 4/5

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