Over-the-top danger, funny moments with likable characters, romantic scenes between effects-heavy action sequiences, and epic music to match. Yes, “Beyond The Mask” is worth watching, be it in theaters or on DVD.
When Burns Family Studios released “PenDragon : Sword of His Father”, it stirred up excitement for the quality of production and the large scale story. Keeping Christ in the center of their stories, Burns Family Studios are focusing on action-adventure stories based on historical events.
In “Beyond The Mask”, Will Reynolds (Andrew Cheney) is ready to retire from his career of danger and intrigue as a mercenary for the British East India Company. He has grown increasingly guilty for doing other people’s dirty work. In reality, quitting is not an option and after surviving an assassination attempt, Will gets the opportunity he wanted — a new name. Thinking Will dead, the East India Company places all blame for wrongdoings on him and Will tries to start over. His past, however, does not die and Will does not fit the new name very well.
Like “PenDragon”, the “Beyond The Mask” movie was a tremendous undertaking, and handled very well. However, I thought the movie moved too fast at times, making important details hard to catch. The ending felt rushed, probably partly due to the fast cuts, but partly because it seemed everything was happening at once. There were a few scenes which felt like the events had been placed in order, then smashed together like an accordion.
The acting is good on all counts and every story is improved by the presence of John Rhys-Davies. Some of my favorite scenes were the interactions with Benjamin Franklin (Alan Madlane). Jurgen Beck did a fantastic job with the music, as well.
The set design and visual effects were very well done. Interestingly, the electricity in “Beyond The Mask” is gold, rather than the traditional blue color. Gold was used because they wanted to emphasize the time period, and antiques often connect with the “timelessness” of gold for people. It was a concern that blue would feel too “space/sci-fi” for a movie set in the 1700’s.
Truth is important in “Beyond The Mask” — Will Reynolds first attempts to bury the truth and start anew. Problem was, he could not bury his past and he only made things worse in the trying. Will had ran from his past, tried changing his conduct, then failed in covering it up. So at last, he begins a quest to make the truth known. Truth about events and people, which would affect his own life, others and even impact the future of nations. In the end, Will understands that Jesus is the only one who can truly clear his name – atoning for the evil deeds and forgiving Will’s past. And only Jesus has the power to ‘remake’ Will (renewing not only his conduct, but his heart as well).
Like the character in “Beyond The Mask”, truth is important in our lives as well…. Our knowledge of truth influences our day-to-day actions and everyone assumes at least some things to be universally true. Take a moment to read Psalm 115, which opens with a reference to truth. Jesus said “I am the truth” – the word of God is true cover to cover. In “Beyond The Mask”, Will pursued multiple imperatives, but none resolved his one burning necessity; ultimately finding Christ as his all in all.
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