Review: The Imposter (Movie)


There are some terrible things in this world.  Things that we expect by now.  We expect people to do drugs, to be unfaithful, to lie, to fall flat on their faces.  What we don’t expect is for them to happen to our heroes and we don’t expect it to happen in our own back yard.

The Imposter begins with a story that doesn’t even pretend to have a protagonist.  Yes, the story focuses on Johnny C, played by Kevin Max (formerly of DC Talk, but has moved on to do several solo albums), as the lead vocalist for “Grand Design”, an outspoken “Christian/Ministry” band.  However, it doesn’t take long for Johnny C to be busted for drug use and adultery, putting his marriage on the rocks and his position in the band eradicated.

Of course, the solution seems simple, right?  Johnny C can just confess his sins to his wife, Tara, and to his band, including his childhood friend, James (former Sonicflood member, Jeff Deyo).  Things aren’t that easy for Johnny C this time, though, as he refuses to truly repent, leading to him being out on his own.

Left to fend for himself, Johnny C goes about trying to do it on his own.  He tries to get his own record deal, make it financially, kick his habit and get his family back.  However, unlike a lot of stories, he doesn’t try it God’s way so easily, but rather through a series of cons that never seem to quite work to his advantage.

This isn’t a story about the easy way, but about the hard way.  Johnny C needed to learn about what it really means to be a believer, which is not only in confessing his faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, but also believing in his heart that God raised Christ from the dead.

As far as the quality of the movie, it isn’t exactly perfect, but it gets the point across.  With this being a low budget indie movie, with three of the main stars being musicians rather than actors, you can expect to see some less than perfect film work at times, but it isn’t as bad as you might think either.  A seemingly minor character, Popeye (played by Tom Wright), brings both comedic relief and symbolism that seems to tie things together well, along with Proff (Kerry Livgren of Kansas) who somewhat reluctantly guides Johnny C to Jesus Christ.

You’d like to think that this kind of stuff doesn’t really happen, not in the Christian music “industry”, not with so many Christians all around, but it does.  A job doesn’t make someone faithful, just ask anyone who has been disappointed to see their favorite artist fall or a closer personal pastor live in hypocrisy.  It hurts, but it is real.  This story should warn us not only that the musicians we cover need prayer, but also that no matter who you are, you need to believe in Jesus Christ and His resurrection with all your heart.  It isn’t in a gimmick, a title, a position, an authority or a personality.  It is in a denial of self and acceptance of Christ doing a work in us through faith by grace.  Stories aren’t always perfect, we’ve all fallen short of the grace of God, but He is there to get us through trials and temptations to bring us to Him, even if it is the hard way.

Final Assessment: Thumbs up!

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4 responses to “Review: The Imposter (Movie)

  1. Pingback: Check Out PureFlix « CMZ

  2. Dan February 12, 2010 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks Tyler, nice review.

  3. Emalie February 23, 2010 at 8:40 am

    It’s Kerry Livgren, not Kenny. Thanks!

  4. Tyler Hess February 23, 2010 at 9:23 am

    what can i say? you’re right! thanks :)

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