Infidel (2020) movie review
Released just this past weekend, Infidel stars Jim Caviezel as an American man who find himself held prisoner after speaking about Jesus during an interview in Cairo. Meanwhile his wife, a government official played by Claudia Karvan, works to secure release for him as time runs out… The film was written and directed by Cyrus Nowrasteh, as well as produced by acclaimed filmmaker Dinesh D’Souza, creator of such masterpieces as Death of a Nation (2018) and Hillary’s America: The Secret History of the Democratic Party (2016).
So I had no idea this was Dinesh D’Souza propaganda until maybe twenty minutes before seeing it, and by then my curiosity to see how this film starring a crazy person and produced by Hilary Clinton’s arch-nemesis (both of whom I have heard speak at a convocation in person) would fair against the best this year has to offer so far. Would it be even better than Josh Gad: The Batman-Voiced Mole-Man (2020) on Disney+, or perhaps even better than Iron Man Gives a Dragon a Colonoscopy: The Movie (2020)? Stay tuned to find out…
Now please, don’t go see this hateful barely-a-movie movie. Not only is it terribly made in every respect, but the film is so anti-Muslim and anti-American that it ends up feeling anti-Christian. But hey that’s what happens when you have your protagonist say things like, “Tell your high priest to go f— himself.” Oh sick burn! You really put that entire religion in its place by- making your protagonist not only hateful but vulgar despite the fact that he believes so much he’s willing to fly to Cairo to talk on television about Jesus. Oh also, he works at a software company, sooo I’m not sure how he got that gig…
Let’s talk about fairness. Every so often you get a film that is trying to make a point, and in doing so, they have to portray a people group in a negative light. Right or wrong, hit or miss, the intention is typically for the focus on the themes. In some cases, if you are clever with your character shading, this can work. However showing a dogmatic view in your screenplay tends to undermine the themes as prejudice. Enter Infidel, which doesn’t spend a single moment offering fairness to the religion it spends almost two hours dragging through the mud. Now I think the point of the film is just that all Muslims are evil and America won’t help you in dire situations- so I don’t know how else to make such a moving message resonate better with audiences. But let’s pretend for one second that the themes in the film are like, actual themes that offer a productive message. I could see ways to make this movie. But going out of your way to make sure that the ONLY good characters in the film are Christians isn’t exactly subtle. And that’s coming from a Christian. But hey hurling grenades at bad guys looks cool. What would Jesus do amiright?
So I don’t want to spend too much time on this movie because it doesn’t deserve it and I could be doing absolutely anything else. But let’s say you are totally on board for this so far (which by the way might make you as blind as the people who made this movie.) Infidel is truly one of if not the worst made film I’ve seen this year. The pacing is all over the place, the visuals and effects aren’t very good, the score had its moments when it wasn’t copying other well-known scores, and the performances were good just under half the time at best. Yeah performances are what I should talk about here, but gosh this film is one of the worst shot films I’ve seen in a theater. There’s one break in the 180 degree rule early on so bad that we thought one character was talking to a guy that looked a lot like him. Nope, same guy who just hops back and forth across the room.
Also do these guys not know how things work? I mean I already talked about the story setup not making any sense, but very little of this movie does make sense. So the inciting incident sees the titular Infidel (literally the character’s name on IMDb) and his wife call the police because their friends’ daughter is missing. They then find out that this guy (the father of the missing daughter) has a stereotypical Muslin basement full of incriminating things, so they show Infidel and- I guess it’s cool to just take a software guy into someone else’s house? So lots of things like that.
Look somewhere deep down there’s a movie that can be remade into a compelling drama. But it needed a massive overhaul starting with the script, followed by shedding the bigoted producer, and then making sure your cast cares about the project before you begin shooting. Also maybe just do better? If you gave the budget of this movie to me and let me start from scratch, I could keep the story and make a significantly better film with with at least 61% more integrity than this crap. 2/10. But hey all Muslims are terrible and America will leave you for dead!
So any movie better than this? Did you see it? What was it and what did you think? And what is your all-time least favorite message loosely wrapped in a movie? Be sure to leave a like or a comment below! And if you know how to use a flash drive that fits in your show to make super secret messages that can be easily decoded to spend 10 minutes on but move the plot forward by- not at all- you know, leave a comment or something with your super secret prisoner message! Gosh this movie was dumb.
-review by Ryan Prince