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Follow the Prophet

Submitted by admin on April 29, 2010 – 12:23 pmNo Comment
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Follow the Prophet stands and falls on its own sense of outrage. At once a gripping narrative yet full of unbelievable plot turns, the story follows a young girl who flees from a pseudo religious cult in Utah.

We first meet an embittered soldier mourning the loss of his daughter. Herself in the Army she was killed while writing him a letter. As Delta Force Col. Jude Marks (Robert Chimento) reads her missive we switch gears to a sinister deal going down between the Prophet (Tom Noonan) and one of his followers. In addition to shady business they also agree that the man’s teen daughter will become the Prophet’s child bride. Things get more salacious as the father attempts to rape his daughter before turning her over to the Prophet. Annie Burgstede as runaway Avery has the film’s best moments, juggling her innocence with a newfound maturity that’s been thrust upon her in the situation.

Avery runs away but this is reported as a kidnapping to the authorities. Here is where Follow the Prophet really goes off the rails. Avery somehow hides in Jude’s SUV and when he discovers this he hides her out rather than call, say, the police. FTP posits that the whole state is in on a cover-up of the polygamy going on within the Prophet’s org so Jude sets out to take them down with his own paramilitary skills. Diane Verona (as Red a former assault victim now a cop) and Steve Railsback co-star.

There’s a better tale to be told here than the melodramatic script allows. Even so, despite some unconvincing electronic surveillance scenes among others, Follow the Prophet pulls some aces out of the deck.

FTP opens exclusively at the Angelika this weekend. At the April 30, Friday night screening Chimento (who also wrote in addition to starring as Jude) and the producers will host a benefit for The Texas Center for the Missing. A Q&A will follow.

-Michael Bergeron

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