With dung heaps like Legion (2010) stinking up the cinemas, who could be blamed for wondering if there are actually any movies in existence which take some liberties with the Christian religion, but do so respectfully? Well, Soulkeeper does just that, AND does it with a smile. In Soulkeeper God is still the good guy, angels still enjoy working for Him, and, most amazingly of all, the Church is still in the business of acting as a force for good in the world. Not one single murderous albino monk in sight.
As nice as that is, what really makes the movie enjoyable are the two leads. Rodney Rowland and Kevin Patrick Walls play two hapless buddies who specialize in the acquisition (legal or otherwise) of rare collectables. They come across as real friends, comfortable with each other in any situation, be it some questionable caper (such as swiping Abe Lincoln’s hat) or just quibbling over the fact that it’s Deborah Gibson now, not Debbie Gibson. The two have a palpable devotion to one another that ends up adding an unexpected layer of heart to an otherwise goofy movie.
The pair ends up being hired to track down a mystical stone the antichrist intends to use to raise a world conquering army of evil souls. Unfortunately, not being the godliest of men, the two appear woefully inadequate for the task and spend most of the movie getting their butts handed to them by the rubber monster suits of Satan. Realizing that only men with pure hearts have any chance of defeating the devil, the pair reluctantly head off to the nearest confessional. However, having avoided the sacrament for ages, each has quite a long and VERY detailed list of sins to unload on the poor unsuspecting priest. Their transgressions no longer on their conscience, the duo find themselves invisible to the dark lord… but only for as long as they can remain pure. Which isn’t really their forte. Chaos ensues.
Obviously, these two guys would be among the last ones you’d expect to be entrusted with a mission from God. But as this week’s readings point out, that’s pretty much always the case. Isaiah exclaims, “I am a man of unclean lips!” Paul bemoans, “I am the least of the apostles!” And Peter states flatly, “Depart from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” In His mercy, however, God never waits on someone “worthy” of His work. (Just because He has infinity to bide His time, doesn’t mean He wants to.) Instead He puts the task in the hands of those of us who are simply willing to step forward and say “Here I am, send me!” As the traditional Prayer of Access says, “We do not presume to come to this thy Table, O merciful Lord, trusting in our own righteousness, but in thy manifold and great mercies.” After that, just like in Soulkeeper, God handles the rest.