Movie Review: Beyond the Mask (2015)

Synopsis: When William Reynolds, an assassin who is responsible for hiding the illegal activities of the British East India Trading Company, decides to retire, his employer attempts to murder him and frame him for their crimes. He escapes and, while impersonating a reverend, falls in love with Charlotte, the niece of the man who tried to kill him. When his real identity and past is revealed to her, he follows her to America hoping to redeem himself and ultimately ends up needing to thwart a plot to stop the Declaration of Independence from being signed.

Who's in it? The movie stars Andrew Cheney, Kara Killmer, John Rhys-Davies, Alan Madlane and Charlie Newhart.

Review: I came across this film the other day and, while I wasn't sure I would enjoy it based on the premise, I noticed it had Kara Killmer, who I am familiar with because of her role in Chicago Fire (one of my wife's favorites) and, because of that, decided to check it out from the library. My wife and I watched it last night and I ended up enjoying it more than expected.

I'm going to start out by saying this movie isn't going to be for everyone. Basically, it is a movie that spends a lot of time talking about God's love and most of the plot is centered around that. Plus, the movie does take some generous liberties with historical figures like Benjamin Franklin (Madlane).

The film, however, does have quite a bit of action in it, reminding us, at times, of the Pirate of the Caribbean movies (the music even sounds similar), especially when William (Cheney) has to escape a prison ship. The sword fight scenes are entertaining and the love story between him and Charlotte (Killmer) was believable.

My only real complaint about the movie is I wish it would have shown a bit more about his past. Other than one mission involving him killing two soldiers and a PTSD flashback, it is hard to determine just how much of a bad guy he was. Since there seemed to be quite a few people who seemed to think he wasn't worthy of redemption, it would have been nice to have a bit more context.

I also kind of wish the movie wouldn't have made Charlotte's uncle (Rhys-Davies) such an obvious bad guy. I feel like the story would have been slightly better had he, like William, been a halfway decent guy who was forced to make bad decisions so Charlotte's decision about who to support would have been a little more difficult.

Final Opinion: It probably wasn't the best action movie I've watched, but it did turn out to be better than expected. As I said, the religious theme might turn some people off but I personally enjoyed it.

My Grade: B


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