Infidel; Grade: D+
Infidel tells a story that’s based around true events, about an American man named Doug (Jim Caviezel) whom has been kidnapped on his visit in Cairo, after displaying some controversial comments of his religious beliefs. As then Doug will eventually be accused of being a spy, as they sentence him a death sentence. Witness Doug hoping to find a way to escape this terrible occurrence at hand.
I didn’t really pay attention to the trailer during a past visit to the theater, all that lead my attention was a new 2020 release and my father was hyped to see this... I need to stop having my father influence me, as his taste has gone a bit stale over the years. Infidel cross paths between a thriller and also your typical Christian film. I was hoping this film was to be at least respectfully average, as the film is trying to do something particular different compared to cliche Christian films we’ve come to see in the past. Last years Breakthrough was respectfully average, so hey maybe this will be too. Unfortunately... This was kind of lousy.
Let’s start with the positives at least. I thought our lead performance by Jim Caviezel had a solid performance, as I also thought the character in how he was written was fine. Doug was a respectful dude that has strong opinions, could he have been quiet about his true beliefs in a country that is frown upon his beliefs? Sure, but Doug wanted to show this country even though they differ on their views, that they can all still be friends in the end. I also thought the story wasn’t half bad. It’s a story in which is not only important to tell, but it’s not at all dull through partaking in this film, so at least there is something to behold while watching.
Here comes the negatives. The director of Infidel last worked on another Christian film The Young Messiah back in 2016. I thought The Young Messiah wasn’t half bad, thought it was a nice film of it’s caliber, so the film maker does have experience regarding Christian elements. But unfortunately when it comes to making a well crafted political thriller... The way it’s presented and directed is amateurish at best. Throughout the run time I thought of other directors that would’ve easily make a B rated film, because there is a solid script at hand, just by how it’s directed and presented really holds itself down.
I did not like how this film was shot, a fair amount of the film is out of focus. What distracted me around partaking in this film, is simply the slow mo effects the film maker does throughout his film... Why?! It even ruins some scenes, as there is simply no purpose in bringing this effect in these scenes. Like I said earlier upon bad directing, the entire cast other than Jim is terrible. Almost every single performance is either weak or some of the acting can feel entirely awkward in some scenes. Like Doug’s wife Liz (Claudia Karvan) encountering the traumatic news of her husband being kidnapped, as some random girl approaches her, as a sudden pause occurs... That happens a few times in this film, where actors take sudden pauses in their scenes, as it just makes you confused on what is going on here?
There is actually someone mentioning the coronavirus in the third act, as it’s not really explained just what that is or what it has to do with this story?! I swear some guy mention the coronavirus is around as they gotta bring out some prisoners, as the audience is suppose to go “Ah Coronavirus” and I’m sitting here going “Huh”? I didn’t not like the epic conclusion of this film, it was all presented poorly, as the film makers lack of experience when it comes to high end action packed scenes shows immensely in this entire sequence. Surely if Ben Affleck or Mel Gibson was behind the camera, they could’ve easily make this a good film, however we’re settled with a what could’ve been should’ve scenario.
Overall, Infidel is crap. I don’t recommend this film, watch Argo instead. -Mitch Smietana