This daily feature is an introduction to a full film review by Dennis R. Cutchins. To read the full text of this review, follow the link below.
Let me begin by stating that I thoroughly enjoyed this film. Yes, The Errand of Angels is yet another LDS missionary film, but eight years after the release of the groundbreaking God's Army (2000) the genre has matured a great deal. The drama in the film is subtle. No one dies, for instance, or loses their faith, and there are no gang members terrorizing the neighborhood. Writer and literary critic William Dean Howells suggested that realism should not deal with what is possible, but with what is probable, and this film definitely meets that standard. It is a mature Mormon movie. Viewers who have served LDS missions will likely recognize many of their own experiences on the screen. Moreover, this is not an "inside joke" film that only LDS audiences will understand. Rather, it is about people and relationships. In that respect, this is not exclusively an "LDS film" in which religion is the major issue. It is, rather, a film in which the principal characters happen to be Latter-day Saints and happen to be serving missions. Director Christian Vuissa notes that "understanding relationships and showing the process of discovery and realization are driving forces when I write a screenplay" (Errand of Angels Press Notes, http://www.errandofangelsmovie.com/). Those relationships, both between the missionaries and with their investigators, form the dramatic backbone of the film, and despite a lack of "action movie" action, there is plenty here to keep your attention.