Is it sacrilege if I call a faith-based film godawful?
Reconciler, also released under The Reconciler, is just plain godawful. In the film, a mysterious man known as The Reconciler gathers people who are estranged, angry, and distant from each other to see if they can reconcile their differences before it's too late. IN the meantime, a reporter named Laurie (Sherry Morris) gets assigned by her editor to investigate the darkness surrounding this mysterious Reconciler and the people who he as taken.
Reconciler may be most noteworthy as one of the final films of the late Roddy Piper, a former pro wrestler turned actor who'd mainly done action/sci-fi types of roles and, quite honestly, I'd never even heard of this one until asked by indie distributor Cheezy Flicks to give it a view. There's a reason why I hadn't heard of it.
Strangely enough, Reconciler did pick up the Dove Foundation Seal of Approval, though if we're being honest the Dove Foundation is far more concerned about a film's faith and family friendliness than it is the film actually being watchable. According to the Dove Foundation, Reconciler is "An inspirational story of redemption, forgiveness, love and reestablishing a connection with God."
So, my guess is that they watched a different film.
As far as faith-based films go, Reconciler has an interesting premise that is simply poorly executed. It's refreshing to see a more alternative story in a faith-based film, though Reconciler is so amateurish in presentation that it feels like we've gone back to the early days of Christian cinema when the whole world laughed at the films but if the word "Jesus" was mentioned Christians would proclaim it Oscar-winning cinema.
The cast of mostly newcomers is remarkably hit-and-miss, mostly miss. Reconciler is the kind of film where the mere mention of God or Jesus comes in hushed, emphatic tones so that we can understand something important is being said.
I'm not kidding.
The film is more successful in terms of production values with Kevin Hayes's lensing often capturing more emotional resonance than the actors being filmed. The film's music is mostly paint-by-numbers, while the film's sound is often muddy and uneven.
Let's be honest. You don't pick up a Cheezy Flicks title because you expect great cinema. You just don't. If you're a filmmaker and you sign with Cheezy Flicks, you're pretty much admitting to the world that "Hey, I tried. Hey, I failed." That's just the way it is. Unless you've intentionally made a B-movie, ending up at Cheezy Flicks is the equivalent of a cinematic dirge. Even for the relatively modest expectations that come with faith-based cinema, Reconciler is a disappointing and occasionally painful experience. Let me put it this way...if I had to watch the film again to enter the pearly gates? I'd just head south.
© Written by Richard Propes
The Independent Critic