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The Imposter
Written & directed by Daniel Millican 
Serendipitous Films 
Rating:  No rating at this time but could be PG-13 for drug use and sexual innuendo 
Running Length:  120 minutes 
Cast:
  • Kevin Max as Johnny C
  • Kerry Livgren as Proff
  • Jeff Deyo as James
  • Tom Wright as Homeless Man
  • Arianne Martin as Tara
  • Troy Baker as Jerome
  • Daniel Millican as Tony
  • Meredith Mauldin as Sydney 
As the title implies, The Imposter depicts a rock star that has fallen from his faith, due to the high cost of fame. The twist here is the rock star is a Christian rock star setting this story line apart from the stereotypical lost-and-found Christian story. The acting, soundtrack, and conclusion put this movie a ‘touch’ above most in its genre.

Starring Kevin Mac (solo musician, actor, and former member of dcTalk), Kerry Livgren (former lead guitarist of the rock band Kansas), and Jeff Deyo (solo musician, and former member of Sonic Flood), the story focuses on the fall from grace of ‘Johnny C’, the lead singer of a hot Christian rock band. The story depicts of a rock star’s fall from faith - cheating on his wife, addition to oxycodone and liquor, with a narcissistic bent. Together they cause Johnny C to lose control, separating him from his band, family, friends, and faith. But rather than ‘finding’ his faith through the outreach of friends, family and others at stories’ end the story follows Johnny as he continues to spiral out of control despite his efforts and those of others close to him. When he reaches ‘bottom’ he starts over in the most rudimentary way – a completely different lifestyle than where he started from.. Johnny loses all, including family and fame, but holds the rough beginnings of faith found anew. The ending shows a much more realistic picture of those defeated by fame and fortune but finding a new start than the typical story book ending. The story’s centering on a Christian with fame who makes all the wrong choices makes this movie hit home – none of us are perfect, we are all sinners.

While the movie has the typical low budget production look and feel of so many Christian films, surprisingly the acting rises above the fray. Occasionally over the top, Kevin Max’ portrayal of the fallen Christian rock star pulls through as believable in the role of Johnny C. Kerry Livgren provides the stalwart Christian friend and mentor, although we never are quite sure of his history with the movies’ characters. Jeff Deyo does well as Johnny’s friend and band leader. Tom Wright, co-starring as bag person befriended by Johnny, is less believable in a role that adds little to the film. Arianne Martin, co-starring as Johnny’s wife, does not rise above the typical roll of a sad, defeated spouse.

Another redeeming quality of The Imposter is a very solid Christian rock soundtrack, highlighted by the inclusion of songs by Downhere, Kevin Max, Jeff Deyo, and Kerry Livgren providing the movie with a deeper insight. Atop the soundtrack’s collection is the rewritten Kansas staple “Wayward Son” originally authored and rewritten for the movie by Kerry Livgren. The movie’s rendition of “Wayward Son” has Kevin Max providing lead vocals. This is truly a treat for Christian music enthusiasts which should not be missed.

Although the story is at times choppy and drawn out, The Imposter shines in showing personal issues also exists in the Christian world and not all attempts to reclaim faith by the fallen have a happy ending. The overall message is truthful and grounded in reality – faith saves and provides for an abundant live if you work at your faith and your lifestyle. Also rising above the norm for a current period Christian film is the acting and soundtrack. The Imposter is worth seeing for these reasons and for the message it successfully provides.

Note: “The Imposter” will be distributed in March, 2010 by Pure Flix.  See link below for additional information. 

S.S. Mertens


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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