Redemption [1995]

Christian comedy Road to Redemption has a lot going for it, including a cute concept, sharp comic direction, and a winning cast bound to give the film crossover appeal to secular audiences. A financially strapped couple, Amanda (Julie Condra) and Alan (Jay Underwood), "borrow" $250,000 from Amanda's mobster boss, Santoro (Leo Rossi), and bet it all on a racehorse that doesn't come through. Terrified of Santoro's wrath, Amanda goes in search of her wealthy grandfather, Nathan (Pat Hingle), who is in ill health but agrees to give her the money if she'll go fishing with him in Montana--more than a thousand miles away. Meanwhile, Alan is forced by Santoro to accompany an enforcer, Vincent (Tony Longo), and a tracker (Wes Studi) to catch up with Amanda and get the cash. The latter situation yields a lot of laughs, especially through feckless Alan's unlikely friendship with Vincent, with whom he bonds over eight-track recordings of David Cassidy's greatest hits. Amanda and Nathan are also funny together but have many poignant experiences as well, including Nathan's gentle explanations about the comfort he takes in his relationship with God. Writer-director Robert Vernon makes it all crackling entertainment with a real heart. --Tom Keogh

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