Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul is written and directed by Adamma Ebo and stars Regina Hall and Sterling K. Brown as a megachurch pastor and his wife who, after a scandal has caused all of their for parishioners to go to the megachurch down the street, are attempting a comeback. As they prepare to rehabilitate their image, they struggle to adjust to the new reality of their marriage and place in the community. 

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul’s acting is phenomenal. Sterling K. Brown is magnetic, and his character allows him to play multiple levels at once, revealing a sense of desperation behind the deception. But the real star of the show is Regina Hall who basically carries the film with subtle facial expressions and a few show-stopping moments when she’s able to monologue just as much Sterling K. Brown’s character. There is also a brilliantly subtle moment where Hall’s character trades “bless your heart” barbs with a former parishioner. 

Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul’s narrative is half set up like a mockumentary. In the PR campaign leading up to their return to the pulpit, these two characters have a documentary crew follow them around within the fiction of the film. That narrative style was used sporadically, and I think the film would have been a little bit stronger if it maintained that mockumentary pastiche throughout.  

When constructing a character drama, creators have two choices: explore many characters with somewhat shallow dimension or explore two characters in depth. The depth of Honk for Jesus. Save Your Soul is not as profound or multi-dimensional as it could have been, and it lacks clear, long character arcs. Exploring the characters’ relationship with faith – real faith, not what they’re selling to their public – and what they really believe beyond the glitz would have given the film a stronger anchor; faith leaders as con artist hypocrites is something we’ve seen before in superior films like Elmer Gantry and The Master

Giving the characters more dimension would also serve these actors and their performances. Sterling K. Brown and Regina Hall are bringing gold to their performances, but a better story would’ve given them much more to work with.  

2.5 out of 5 stars.