Graphic Language: None
Strong Sexual Content: None
Rogue Saints is a high-class gem of a film. Like the diamond that the main characters seek to uncover, it is multi-cut, and from any angle, the film is equally impressive. I first saw Rogue Saints on the big screen at The Attic Film Fest, and I was looking forward to seeing it again – which says a lot about how I feel about the film. Does it hold up on the small screen? You bet it does.
Director Adam Lubanski does a stellar job in this film about Nick and Dylan, a couple of inept aspiring thieves, who spend their days and nights digging for a one-of-a-kind diamond buried under a church. All the while, church business continues as usual above them, completely unaware of the shaky foundation underneath. Like a classic Donald Westlake novel or a Cary Grant screwball comedy, this film is one part crime drama, one part romance, and totally hilarious, while using today’s latest technology to tell its multi-layered story. The visually impressive introduction of our dynamic duo, winningly played by John Wu (Nick) and Jason Pead (Dylan), is brilliant. Incorporating a montage of quick cuts, fun music, and visuals from facebook (I mean lotsafaces!), we really get a good idea about these guys after only 5 minutes into the film. With a resume that includes Interactive Graphics Designer on such hits as The Amazing Spiderman and Charlie’s Angels, Lubanski knows how to work the visuals. The animations and graphics are such a nice touch, and make for wonderfully tight pacing and fun transitions. You will be hard-pressed to find a better use of animations, graphics, and split screens. Even the labels on Mother Wright’s cans of peaches look enticing. (Oh, it’s her diamond – lost for 30 years after her death – which our heroes seek.)
Ah, our heroes Nick and Dylan. These are two guys you love to root for, and the chemistry between Wu and Pead, as well as love interest Deanna Sarkar, is top-notch. They all three perform as if they have been in many film projects, but this is simply not the case, which makes their performances even more amazing. Some of the credit is due writer David C. Brunk, who put together the clever storyline and crisp dialogue. The laughs are dealt out liberally, and the humor is not mean-spirited jabs at church and religion (like Blue Like Jazz and many secular films), but true-to-life funny. Who doesn’t know a guy like parking attendant Barney, and who doesn’t like to challenge his self-appointed authority? “Thumbs Up” to this great supporting character and portrayal by Alex Craig.
Throughout the film, the layers of thought and detail in each sequence are deep. Director Lubanski did not blow through this film in a hurry – there are minute treasures galore and are fun to discover. The sets are top-notch: especially impressive is the spider-webbed, pipe-filled underground set; but nothing was spared, evident by the shots at the airport, the beach, alleyways, ATM machine, nighttime driving, high-rise corporate office, the list goes on, with some sets only used for seconds. Also worth mentioning is the music. It too is top-notch and right on: just what is needed for each moment and emotion.
So it sounds like Rogue Saints is a filmmaker’s film, which it is, but it is one for the entire family. I’m picking up a copy this week to watch with my 9-year-old, my teenager, and my wife. (Hmmm – it would make a great Christmas gift for my mother and my sisters, too.) And it would work great for a movie night at church or school – it even comes with not one, but two Discussion Guides – available for free at the Rogue Saints website.
Rogue Saints: very fulfilling and one of the best Christian films ever produced – a perfect movie for me: a crime caper/adventure/buddy film/romance/comedy: a real gem. Sit back and enjoy.
The Christian Worldview:
Rogue Saints has a strong Christian, moral worldview. Much of it takes place at a church, and there are sequences of church worship, small group Bible study, and fellowship. Younger viewers (under 6) may get lost in the intricacies of the plot, but will find much to enjoy including animation sequences, singing, and digging for buried treasure!
To learn more about the author of this review, visit Dale Ward
For more details about Rogue Saints, check out Christian Film Database
Watch the Rogue Saints official trailer
Rogue Saints tells the story of two men, broke and with nowhere to turn, searching for treasure, thinking it will solve all their problems. Jesus talks about seeking and finding, and what should be sought and what should not. (Matthew 7: 6-8) 6 “Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces. 7 Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” What treasure do you think is worth seeking? What treasure will we find if we seek and ask of Jesus? (Matthew 6: 32-34) 32 “For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” In Rogue Saints, what treasures do Nick and Dylan ultimately find? What can we do today to find the treasures that God has for us? The ultimate treasure is the redemption for us through the blood of Christ on the cross. Help us, dear Lord, to share this treasure with those who do not know You.