Monday, December 14, 2015
Beyond the Mask
Christian / Action / Drama
103 minutes / 2015
William Reynolds is a 18th century assassin and the righthand man to the head of the East India Trading company. When the young assassin wants to leave his dark life behind his employer (played by veteran actor John Rhys-Davies) tries to have this loose end tied up, planting a bomb under Reynolds' carriage. Reynolds survives thanks to the warning of a passing vicar who ends up paying for his kindness by getting blown up himself. In search of a new life, and a new identity, Reynolds adopts the vicar's identity, and, meets Charlotte, a young woman who knows a lot more about God then this "vicar" does.
There is so much to love about this film, and this romance is a big part of it. It has the typical movie-plot instant attraction, yes, but no bodice-ripping whatsoever. As impressed as Charlotte might be by Reynolds' charm, she wants to know his heart – she finds it strange that this man of God so often speaks of Him as "if He were a distant acquaintance." So despite her heart saying yes, she will not pledge herself to him until she seeks advice from an older wiser head. So this has all the fun of the flirtation, and yet none of that falling-into-bed-with-a-near-stranger nonsense.
Of course, with their affair of the heart taking place just 20 minutes in, we know that the happy ending can't come yet. Reynolds old life forces its way into the new and he has to flee to the American Colonies, leaving his lady-love behind. There he decides he will make repayment for his former evils by doing heroic goods – he dons a disguise and a mask to fight the East India Company in its new endeavors in the Americas. Lots of daring-do and explosions follow.
There is no sexual content at all, and while God's name is called upon, it seems to be put to appropriate use (being either directed to Him, or part of a discussion about Him).
A concern is violence. There is quite a lot, and while none of it is gory, there are men murdered, others blown up, and piles upon piles quickly put down by a punch or two from our reforming William Reynolds.
This is a wonderful film, with solid acting, an intriguing (if on occasion confusing) script, good special effects, authentic period costumes and sets, and a pleasant number of explosions. It is a family film, though because of the violence, for older children only, with a solid Christian moral. So, safe and enjoyable!
I don't want to praise it too highly, because it isn't a movie that will go down as a great for the ages. But it certainly is one of the best Christian films you'll see, and a cut above most any family film out there.
You can buy a DVD copy at Amazon.com by clicking here or rent it for online viewing by clicking here.