“Salvation Boulevard” is one of those almost movies. It’s got some a number of strengths, in particular its extraordinarily talented all-star cast: Co-leads Pierce Brosnan subtly subverts his famously roguish charms by playing a cad who is also secretly an opportunistic coward, while Greg Kinnear makes a perfectly blank everyman without fading into the background and shares comfortable chemistry with Marisa Tomei. Unfortunately, Jennifer Connelly seems miscast as a devout Christian hiding a cunning nature: She’s too intense for a role that relies on barely concealed duplicity, so her performance has an unfortunate tendency of telegraphing revelations ahead of time for anyone paying attention. There are some good jokes along the way but the screenplay feels like it was written in the ’90s: The idea that evangelical mega-pastors are greedy, unscrupulous profiteers is fairly common knowledge at this point so the movie’s hard punches at the industry come off somewhat irrelevant, like Doug Max Stone and George Ratliff’s screenplay thinks it’s lobbing grenades when in actuality, it’s hitting low-hanging fruit. So, in my opinion the whole thing doesn’t really ever take off, but it’s still worth at least one casual viewing on a relaxed afternoon if you’re a fan of the cast.
Rating: ★★★ (out of 5)