Saturday, July 30, 2011
There's an unwritten rule of thumb that if you happen across a movie with an unbelievable cast that you've never heard of, it's probably not very good. And I can't think of a better example of that rule than 'Salvation Boulevard'.
The film opens with Pierce Brosnan as a beloved evangelist debating the existence of God with a famed skeptic professor played by Ed Harris. And Greg Kinnear is in attendance as Brosnan's example of the existence of God, as a former Grateful Dead 'Dead-head' who found God, as well as a beautiful wife, played by Jennifer Connelly. Marisa Tomei also enters into the film in a fairly pointless role, which seem to be her bread and butter lately.
The film has a lot going for it. I'm always a big fan of Brosnan and Harris. (And as an aside, while I would never have thought of pairing Brosnan and Kinnear in a film together, they were both excellent the first time they worked together in 2005 in 'The Matador' and will be on screen together again in September in 'I Don't Know How She Does It'. A bizarre coincidence or are they actively trying to do projects together?)
Besides a dream ensemble cast, the film has a fairly original storyline, and is shot pretty well. Unfortunately it's inexplicably a complete bore and kind of a mess. I'm not even sure if it's meant to be a comedy, a thriller, or a drama. It doesn't work as any of the above. While this isn't the worst movie of the year, it is probably the worst relative to its potential. And that pains me to say. Really, really disappointing.