Movie Review: Rogue SaintsQuick Plot Summary: Two guys go looking for a diamond buried beneath a church and find more than they ever imagined.
Suggested Ages: 7+
The tagline for this movie is: "The greatest church diamond heist, romance, comedy, drama, adventure you've ever seen." And that's about right. I'm going to go out on a limb and say you probably haven't seen a better church diamond heist movie. :)
Basic plot is 2 guys run out of money and remember a story they heard when they were childhood friends of a large diamond being buried under their local church. They plot to dig it up and volunteer to work at the church to disguise their efforts. Along the way, the church and its people begin to affect them and leads to a discovery of a whole other sort of treasure. If this all sounds kind of "silly", it is - but in a good way.
Besides being entertaining, this movie has a lot of heart, and you get to see a transformation occur with the two lead characters as the genuine love of God's people really affects them. Basically this is a feel-good movie with its biggest message being the importance of having (and being) a church family. Despite largely taking place in a church, you won't hear much "sermonizing" or find any deep Christian conversion scenes or anything like that. This is not a very deep movie theologically. Because of the lack of deeper Christian content or discussions, it does at times seem like the church is just one big social club, rather than people that have been changed by Jesus and fellowship with one another because they have Jesus in common. But if you can go into this movie thinking it is lighthearted Christian entertainment that also happens to say a few things, rather than expecting to see something super-spiritual, I think you'll be just fine.
Now, with many Christian films, a question often arises regarding the quality level of acting and production. I can say that both were reasonable. I can't say "great" on either front, but overall was perfectly sufficient. The acting was believable enough to not distract too much. The movie did have a very modern, quick-paced, almost "cartoony" style, that grated on me a bit, but all things considered, it was fine (and kids will probably love it).
This one can potentially be a good family night movie! There are some good family discussion points to be gleaned. The importance of church family and genuinely loving on people is a key one. Another related one is the need to be real and have meaningful and substantive relationships built on truth, rather than falsehood. A contrast is shown where one of the characters has 1,000 facebook friends but feels that most all of them aren't really true friends he can really depend on. There's also themes that include the futility of living life only for your own pleasure, and the importance of helping others. You could also talk about what conversion really entails as far as really turning to Jesus and explain what baptism is all about (there is a baptism scene at the end of the movie). Since there's a scene early on talking about the Trinity, you might want to take the opportunity to clarify what the Trinity is as best you can to any youngsters (God is Father, Son, Spirit - 3 personalities, 1 God.). Another discussion point could be why some people get angry at God when bad things happen (one of the characters did because of a major loss that occured earlier in his life) and how bitterness at God only hurts you. The movie does briefly raise the whole "why are some healed when others aren't?" question, which if you really feel you can provide a decent Biblical answer to, you might want to tackle (my book "Where's the Abundant Life?" deals with this and the healing topic quite substantively).
All in all, this movie is a fun way to spend an evening and is recommended. Tip: It's extra good to watch around Christmas time!
Reviewed by Christopher Long,