I had never heard of this movie before and when I first saw it I thought, well here’s a Steve Martin comedy that I’ve never heard of (probably because it is really bad…). However, Steve Martin plays this role straight and in doing so brings a lot of presence to the screen. Leap of faith tells the story of a con man named Reverend Jonas Nightengale who has made a career of separating the poor and uneducated from their money. He is in the midst of a tour when his tour bus breaks down in the backwater town of Rustwater,…Kansas. While awaiting for replacement parts, Nightengale decides to practice his trade with the local townspeople. The local sherrif (Liam Neeson) tries to halt the proceedings and protect his town but his attempts are slowed by Nightengale’s manager (Debra Winger). In addition Nightengale tries to convince a beautiful skeptic (Lolita Davidovich) of his abilities; however her interest is with her young son whom is crippled. As the movie reaches the end, the preacher actually tries to talk the boy out of having faith in his made-up abilities. This leads to a very unexpected climax which is supposed to teach us the real meaning of faith.
This film is presented in a solid 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen format. While grainy at times it does not take away from the overall experience. The colors are vibrant and the flesh tones are deep and vivid. The color schemes used the scenes add to the overall feel of the movie.
The film is presented in 5.1 Dolby Digital Surround. As would be expected there is plenty of high energy gospel music that really makes great use of the sub-woofer. The sound is very good.
The build up to this movie was very good as was the way in which they showed the audience how the “miracles” were performed in an almost documentary fashion. Unfortunately the ending leaves a little to be desired.