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This Jesus is very entertaining

13.09.2019

Oldenburg The second film written by Miguel Llansó, whose 2015 debut “Crumbs” showcased a clear anti-mainstream attitude already, is anything but ordinary. The story in „Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway“ turns out to play a rather secondary role, however one could summarise it: In the year 2043, which, visually, finds its older brother in “Blade Runner”, the two CIA agents Gagano and Palmer (Daniel Tadesse und Agustín Mateo) are being tasked with the destruction of the computer virus called “Soviet Union”. In order to do so, they must enter the system via virtual reality technology themselves, but their mission quickly turns to be a trap and the virus as much more powerful than expected.

Menko Harken (21) (Foto: Filmfest Oldenburg)

With the film’s intro, which is animated in 8-bit style and gets supported by matching 80s arcade music, one thing gets clarified right away: This film does not take itself seriously. And that’s damn good the way it is. For it is the irony with which Llansó schemes his characters that makes this film so truly entertaining. An example: When the two agents, equipped with cardboard masks, wander through the simulated computer program in stop-motion just to meet Stalin himself, who is armed with hammer and sickle while wearing Nike sneakers, things get pretty hilarious. In addition to that, the way in the film caricatures iconic action series such as “Batman” and “Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” or accentuates the, impressively well-choreographed, fight scenes with sound and camera effects from roughly forty years ago, turns out to be genuinely entertaining.

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Langweilig wird es mit diesem Jesus sicher nicht

Filmfest-Kritik Zu „jesus Shows You The Way To The Highway“
Langweilig wird es mit diesem Jesus sicher nicht

However, even if the film manages to keep the balance between intended trashiness and quality as well as very few others of its genre’s competitors, one thing that comes with all the absurdity, nonsense and occasional visual overstimulation stretched onto 83 minutes of runtime is the sense of lengthiness. “Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway” is seemingly trying to justify the stretching of what-the-hell-scenarios over such a long time with its confusing story, which appears to be the spawn of “Inception” and “Matrix” on acid, but that cannot overshadow that the film’s biggest strength lies in its trashy and exaggerated elements. And this entertaining factor, as entertaining it might be, can rarely carry a film through over an hour of runtime.

With all that in mind, „Jesus Shows You the Way to the Highway“ is by no means a bad film, in fact quite the contrary. The occasional taste of lengthiness is nothing more but a minor flaw which does not really hurt the compilation of intentionally flat acting, “Power Rangers” worthy costumes and humorous references to what used to be action television in the preceding century. Even if good and bad does ultimately depend on the subjective viewpoint, one thing about this film is for certain: it does entertain.

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