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Shannon Penrod: Under the Banner of Heavy-handed Manipulation

Under the Banner of Heaven (Hulu original production}
Shannon Grade: C+


This was not my jam. It’s a heavy-handed murder mystery, based around a true murder. It stars Andrew Garfield, as a devote Mormon police detective whose faith is shaken by a gruesome murder. There were so many issues for me. The script, the direction, and some of the really one note performances. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. It feels like a big middle finger to the Mormon church. A long, protracted, belabored, middle finger. Full disclosure, I am not now, nor have I ever been a member of the LDS church - but I taught at BYU for a short time, I lived in Utah and had and have many friends who are LDS. I struggled with the relentless retelling and rewriting of Mormon history. It was boring, obviously manipulative and condescending. Oh, and worst of all…it was bad storytelling. Yawn. At the dramatic height of this giant turd in a punch bowl I didn’t even care about the reveal of the whodunnit. I just wanted it over.
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