"Unlikely Spiritual Help"
What You Need To Know:
THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN moves too slowly but eventually picks up steam to deliver a nice, heartfelt ending. The movie has a strong Christian worldview. With help from Sam, the pastor overcomes his guilt and sin, repents, and renews his Christian faith. THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN also includes scenes of forgiveness and reminds viewers they must turn from their sin, live honestly in faith and help other people. Caution is advised for older children because of mature themes, alcohol use and smoking.
THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN is about an ex-convict who helps the fallen temporary pastor of a small-town church overcome his guilt and sin, repent and renew his Christian faith. THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN moves too slowly but picks up steam in the second half to deliver a nice, heartfelt, redemptive ending. Caution is advised for older children because of some mature themes, alcohol use and smoking.
The movie opens with a black man named Sam Walker getting out of prison. Sam walks to a small town and gets a job as a dishwasher at a bar, where he befriends another worker, Mike. At the motel where he’s staying, Sam meets a pretty blonde woman named Ashley. He takes her to a party where Mike invited him.
Meanwhile, a young pastor named Chris gives his first Sunday sermon to a church in the small town. The sermon goes well, and it looks like Chris will move easily from temporary senior pastor to permanent senior pastor.
However, Chris is addicted to Internet porn. He spend nights on his laptop computer while his wife’s in bed. Megan, his wife, realizes something is wrong, and she confides in a young married woman she met at the church.
Sam tells Mike he’s unsatisfied with his life and wants “something more.” He sees a flyer that Chris posted on a telephone pole advertising his evening Bible study. The flyer offers “something more.” So, Sam shows up at the Bible study, but Chris realizes Sam will not fit in with the leading church elder’s racist vision for the church. Chris tells Sam to keep the Bible from the Bible study, and Mike starts reading it.
Just as Sam seems to be finding Christ, Chris seems to be moving away from Christ. Sure enough, when Sam shows up the next Sunday at church, the leading church elder orders Chris to tell Sam he doesn’t really fit with the church’s congregation.
That night, Megan tells Chris she’s ashamed of his behavior. She wonders what’s going on with her husband, who’s become sullen and unresponsive. Later that night, Megan learns about his addiction to Internet pornography. Nothing is shown, but viewers hear a woman’s voice on the Internet welcoming Chris to a website where he can chat with any woman he wants before Chris abruptly closes the laptop. Megan confronts Chris, and Chris storms out of the house and drives away in their car.
Chris ends up at the bar where Sam works in the back. He starts downing some drinks of straight gin. Cut to Chris drunkenly leaving the bar in the alley behind the building. Mike is there taking a cigarette break. He tries to take the car keys away from Chris, but Chris shoves him away. So Mike punches Chris, who’s knocked unconscious.
Chris is still laying in the alley when Sam gets off work and enters the alley. He wakes Chris up and drives him home, but Megan has locked the door. So, Sam lets Chris stay in his motel room. The next morning, Chris asks Sam why he helped him after Chris treated him so badly at the church. Sam tells him he’s just trying to follow the Christian message he’s been reading in the Bible that Chris gave him.
Can Chris renew his faith in God and straighten out his own life? Will his wife take him back? Will Chris stand up to the racist church elder?
THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN is filmed like a slice-of-life independent movie. As a result, it moves too slowly and misses the first plot point. Also, it inserts some black transition frames between some scenes that slow down the plot even more. The filmmakers were going for a more realistic, slice-of-life style, but that’s hard to pull off and keep viewers engaged. Despite this, the movie picks up steam in the second half to deliver a nice, heartfelt ending. Also, the movie has a strong Christian worldview promoting forgiveness and reminding viewers that no one is good, but that we all need to turn away from sin, live honestly in faith and help other people.
Before Sam can help Chris, however, he must transform his own life. Before he starts reading the Bible, Sam wakes up one morning in bed with Ashley, the girl he met at the motel. When he starts reading the Bible, Sam realizes he and Ashley did wrong and he establishes a chaste relationship with her.
So, THE UNLIKELY GOOD SAMARITAN contains some mature content that warrants caution for older children. However, it has no foul language and no objectionable violence.