Losing religion in Godspeed
As far as retribution stories go, “Godspeed” (written, directed and produced by Robert Saitzyk) misses the mark. It’s revenge plot is heavy handed, the characters are unlikable and the “raised stakes” are implausible. That said, “Godspeed” is watchable, thanks to the commitment of the actors in their roles and the beautiful cinematography, which is in nice contrast to the gruesome plot.
We are first introduced to Charlie (played by Joseph McKelheer), the hard-to-root for protagonist. He’s a questionable faith healer who self-medicates via drinking and cheating on his wife. When his wife and son are murdered, he loses religion and ultimately himself as he becomes a recluse. It takes someone like Sarah (played by Courtney Halverson) to help him “reconnect” to society. Part-stalker, part “do-gooder,” Sarah persuades Charlie to help her sick father on her family’s remote farm. For whatever reason (we’re supposed to think sexual but it’s only alluded to), Charlie agrees to help. It’s not before long that we learn that Sarah has knowingly put Charlie in danger, which is in complete contradiction to her character. The plot point that results in all being revealed (namely who killed Charlie’s wife and son and why) is absurd as is the over-the-top dénouement. Redemption misses everyone and few, if any, lessons are learned.