Plot: After Franco Macalousso (Nick Mancuso) was able to rise to power, from the outside the world he helped create seems prosperous, but under the surface, corruption breeds around every corner. His laws against religion have forced believers into hiding and mob rule dictates justice, so anyone who opposes Franco is doomed to be crushed by his system. When Mitch Kendrick (Corbin Bersen) is assigned to defend one of the leaders of a Christian rebellion, he thinks he has a chance to test the laws, but he soon learns that isn’t the case. Instead, the entire trial has been scripted in advance and he is to only give the illusion of a proper defense. Kendrick had suspicions about the new regime long before he learned that justice had been eradicated, but now he struggles on how to move forward, both as a lawyer and as a person.
Entertainment Value: This is the fourth installment in the Apocalypse series, a kind of post apocalyptic series that explores what would happen in a world where religion is treated like a criminal act. As should be obvious, Judgment is made for Christian viewers and pushes that religious agenda, but it has some b movie appeal as well. The movie is never subtle and smashes its message over our heads like a sledgehammer, which leads to a lot of overly serious, propaganda laced exchanges. The villain is presented as if he was the most charismatic person to ever live, yet he comes off like a generic big business shill, hardly a unique vision. I also love that the trial scenes are often nonsensical and ignore basic evidence, then make massive leaps of logic, only to see them pan out and be accepted. You also have Mr. T as a militant Christian freedom fighter and I mean, come on, that is hilarious. I appreciate the over the top sequences of course, but I can see how some would roll their eyes, so Christsploitation is an acquired taste. I also think the slow pace and tortuous courtroom scenes make Judgment hard to recommend, at least from a camp/b movie perspective. But if you have to see Mr. T as a religious freedom fighter, this is your prime ticket to that experience.
One of the reasons I am drawn to these religious b movies is that they’re often able to put together a colorful, eclectic cast of performers. That is the case here, as we have Mr. T in a prominent role as a freedom fighter, though he isn’t as central to the narrative as the promotional materials suggest. The core of Judgment centers on Corbin Bernsen, but Mr. T does have a number of scenes and his side thread is chock full of ridiculous lines and an over the top performance. So if your main interest here is to watch Mr. T do his usual routine, but in the role of a religious militant, then you’re in luck, as that is exactly what his character requires. He might not pity the fools who follow the Antichrist, but he gives his usual blustery, humorous effort. Bersen has the lead and he is a veteran of these religious movies, so he turns in a passable, if forgettable performance. But it is still fun to see him in roles where he’s a beacon of morality, since I associate him with so many evil or corrupt characters. The cast also includes Jessica Steen, Nick Mancuso, Leigh Lewis, and Michael Copeman.
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