Beyond the Mask full movie review - A For Adventure. A For Actually Trying
Beyond the Mask is a step above and in the right direction for Christian film making. The acting was decent, the story line well written and had an overall good flow and the production values outdid BBC and are almost, almost comparable with Disney.
Kudos for the superb editing in the fight scenes. Unlike some Christian films that seemed to run with the first screenplay draft and first shot without taking time to critique themselves and make revisions(i.e. Persecution, God's Not Dead), the makers of Beyond obviously took time to make sure they had a story for the big screen. The trailer pretty much tells you the plot line, so I won't devote anytime here to the story. It is Zorro, Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, The Patriot, Assassins' Creed, Pirates of the Caribbean, Sons of Liberty and Masterpiece Theater all rolled into one original, enthralling story. Genera wise the film is Steampunk, historical period drama, action-adventure, romance, swashbuckling intrigue, patriotic, and inspirational all at once. I hope the Burns' film is picked up by a major distributor for nationwide theater release as reward for a job well done.
Recommendation: Go see this film for some good old fashion fun. I would say take the whole family, but the violence might be much for children 3-.
Quality Rating: I give this film a rating of 8 for grace since it is an independent, low-budget film. Below I list some production problems I noticed. These are ones I noticed myself and so things like dress and makeup that are critiqued in other reviews will not be mentioned below. If you are planning on this film, be advised of spoiler warnings below.
Sidekick. I would like to have seen more comradeship at the beginning with William Reynolds and his partner in crime. It would have added emotional punch to the assassination attempt. The Holloway house. The house was obviously modern and the production team should have taken time to scatter gravel or dirt over the asphalt driveway. Basil. Kemp's henchmen's character should have been developed more. Considering he was from India where Reynolds committed most of his crimes, a brief movement of conflict between him and Reynolds would have added layering to the story. Perhaps Basil was seeking revenge on Reynolds. How did all the bullets miss Reynolds but a few manage to find Flack? Reynolds goes into the Lamb's Pub during the day and five minutes later he is thrown out at night. Why did Reynolds seek employment from Franklin? Although we already knew from dialogue that Charlotte was going to America with her uncle, her sudden appearance at the window of the Philadelphia ballroom was rather confusing. For a minute I thought we were back in England. The Johnsons: An introduction to the Johnson family before the mob showed up would have added more emotion to the tarring scene. The superhero montage: This part went too fast. "Stop him," yells the bad guy as our hero rides off with his wagon?.jump to quite scene. The pacing: In the scene when Kemp takes Charlotte to the windmill island, the camera zooms up on the windmill while dramatic music plays, then cuts to a quiet scene of Kemp talking, braking the emotion. This was one of several bad pacing moments in the film. Reynolds English accent sounded too broken and American at times. I'll give them grace since these parts were in America. The wires to windmill island were too modern. I'll give them grace since this was steampunk. Reynolds is about to fight Kemp's henchmen outside the windmill. Next thing you know he is in the windmill, declaring the henchmen asleep. There should have been more inter-cutting between the fight on Windmill Island and the signing of the Declaration of the Independence. It would have added emotional impact to Franklin grasping his heart. Plot hole: how did Basil know where Reynolds coat was? Some extras not doing their job, overacting. It appeared to me that Reynold's lost and then regained his handcuffs while on the ship. But, hey, in Raiders of the Lost Ark it is obvious that Ford isn't actually hitting any of the bad guys.
Overall, I give this movie A for Actually Trying.