In its current, finished form, Robert Duvall's attempt at film is nothing more than an idea for a movie. It's not a movie. But since he's Robert Duvall, he walked into some executive's office and got the guy to bark like a dog and say, "Yes, Mr. Duvall, I'll suck on the genitalia of incompetence. Gladly."
If I jammed a large, felt-tip marker between my butt cheeks, bent over near a wall, and danced to the latest Spice Girls album for a couple hours, the resulting incoherent scribble would make a better script than what Duvall came up with. Virtually every scene in this film is a good five minutes too long because Duvall's story could only sustain a film for thirty minutes.
Duvall plays a preacher named Sonny who is having problems with his wife (Farrah Fawcett) and belts her beau with a bat before fleeing town. Sonny may not be perfect, but he has a love for Jesus that compels him to preach the gospel wherever he goes. Eventually, he ends up in Louisiana where he starts a church and waits for his past to catch up with him -- while the movie audience waits for an opportune moment to sneak into the adjacent theater to catch the second half of "Spice World."
Robert Duvall's assumption that his acting skills can sustain a film with the plot of a Dick and Jane book is the height of hubris. First of all, Sonny is a colossal prick. Secondly, Duvall the director won't end a scene, lingering with the sermons until every member of the audience -- atheist and believer -- prays for fingers of God to reach down from the heavens and squash Sonny's head like a grape.
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