John and Jeremiah are estranged twin brothers who were separated by tragedy. One thinks the other is dead, while the other resents his twin for leaving him behind. Now one of them is a priest, while the other is a slimy street dealer. When they accidentally trade places and find themselves in harm’s way, they discover what they are really made of. Will they be able to reconcile their differences before one of them is killed?
Production Quality (1.5 points)
As an early 2000s production, Mercy Streets has a lot of eccentric elements. A lot of the time, it seems like this film is trying to mimic some cheesy 80s movie. Video quality is mostly fine, but camera work is strange, with random and unwanted freeze frames at inconvenient times. Audio quality is good, however, and the soundtrack is actually effective and interesting. Sets, locations, and props are realistic and authentic. However, the editing, like the camera work, is also unusual and hampers the viewing experience with odd stop-starts and slow motion. In the end, this is an ambitious production, but it is stuck at average due to some off-the-wall issues.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Mercy Streets is one of those rare movies wherein the plot is better than the casting. Though the story is built on a somewhat predictable twin-character-switch premise, it is a still a unique standout among Christian films. The characters are quirky but are at least interesting and flawed. Dialogue is all over the place—sometimes creative and sometimes ridiculous. The twists are not really twists at all, and the ending sequence is a bit confusing at times, but overall, the storyline does not follow a very predictable progression, even though it has some predictable elements. In the end, this story is worth a rewrite at some point—as long as a different cast was utilized.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
This is an unusual instance in which the clown cast really drags down the characters and the story. Unless this movie was supposed to be a comedy, which we don’t think it was, this casting is terrible. Eric Roberts makes a great comic villain, but not an actual one (although, this is probably his most dedicated performance to date). David A. R. White can rarely be taken seriously—in this film, it seems like he’s trying to mint his career by copying some iconic performance. Also, he fulfilled his dream of playing two characters (which he also did later) and laid the groundwork for his later ‘comedy’ preaching. Need we say anything about Kevin Downes and the others? This cast really puts a damper on things.
Jon Gunn and his team have always had potential to do something great, but little issues always hold his works back from being great. But definitely has great things ahead of him if he can continue producing good plots, improve production quality, and find better cast members. If these three elements come into alignment, there are great things in store for him and his team.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points