"Revelation Road" Review

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Pure Flix’s “Revelation Road: The Beginning of the End” is an end of days faith-based action drama that focuses on a traveling salesman. Josh (David A.R. White),  a man with a cloudy past and perhaps cloudier future, is on the road more than he’s at home with his family. It’s obvious that this day for Josh will be different from most, much like the film is in the genre.  

The film opens with a nod to “North by Northwest” as a biker gang  chases and strikes down a Federal Agent on a long dusty road. We’re then introduced to Josh as he drives through town, talking on the phone with his wife. It’s obvious that Josh has been on the road for quite some time and the relationship between Josh and his Christian wife Rachel (Jen Lilley) is strained because of it. Yet, it doesn’t stop her from trying to win her husband for Christ. After a mysterious lightning storm breaks up their conversation, Josh is caught in the middle of a robbery between the owner of the store he walks into and bikers he encountered earlier that morning. Josh saves the day with his mysterious hand to hand combat and shooting skills, setting up a tale of revenge for the biker gang.

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Grateful store owner, Frank (Ray Wise), invites Josh to his home to eat with his wife and granddaughter. At times the dialogue in which Frank shares his faith with Josh is heavy handed by assuming he knows Josh’s struggle rather than getting to know him. His intentions are good as he plants the seed in Josh’s head that Jesus is the bridge that can offer him a new life. The more authentic conversation happens between Josh and Nikki (Sarah Prikyl) in a motel Josh goes to after dinner. It’s a simple conversation in which two broken souls discuss if changing their lives is possible. After fighting Nikki’s violent boyfriend, Josh has a revelation stating “You said no force on Earth can change a person. I’m beginning to think that’s true.”

This film is aesthetically well done thanks to David Rydstrom’s cinematography and features realistic special effects. The action sequences are believable with quick cutting editing and slow motion accentuating the moments. The story doesn’t telegraph some of the character relationships and plot twists which keeps the movie interesting. The thugs are over the top goons, but the lead roles carry the film where they drop the ball. 

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Overall, “Revelation Road” takes on a side of the genre that is rarely seen in Christian films and wins. The cast and story combine to make a nice tale of man’s search for God. The film sets us up for a sequel which should be equally interesting.

Rating: B

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Kevin Sampson

The fact that Kevin Sampson is not just a film critic, but a writer, producer, and director as well makes his understanding of cinema even better. Coming from a theoretical and hands on approach, he understands both sides of the struggle of viewing and creating great works. After receiving an MFA in Film & Electronic Media from American University in Washington, D.C in 2011, Kevin took his love for film to the next level by creating and producing Picture Lock, an entertainment website, podcast, and hour long film review TV show that runs on Arlington Independent Media’s public access station in Arlington, VA. The show covers new releases, classic films, and interviews with local filmmakers in the DMV area. He is also a member of the Washington DC Area Film Critics Association and African American Film Critics Association. He is currently looking forward to filming his first feature film in the near future. He believes that film is one of the most powerful art forms in the world, and he hopes that he can use the craft to inspire others and make a difference in it.