To all the readers of this fine magazine, I’m here to tell you about the greatest movie of our generation. It’s not "Super Mario Bros." or "Citizen Kane," but the iconic "The VelociPastor."
Released in the year of our Lord two thousand and eighteen, the movie was a cinematic masterpiece, ushering in a new era of editing styles, shots, and composition that changed the industry forever. It’s not hard to see where Scorsese got his knowledge of directing for "Killers of the Flower Moon"— one look at "VelociPastor"'s transcendental change in special effects will show you where he learned his chops from. The film takes a new look at how to talk about media, special effects, and really deconstructs what a film is. Does a film need plot? Coherence? Action? "VelociPastor" rejects the orthodoxy and gives us a movie filled with uncomfortable close-ups and confusing action — the sort to make audiences sit up, take notice, and pay attention.
The first scene of "VelociPastor" really sells its avant-garde approach to understanding cinema. By opting to give the main character, Reverent V. Lossi Pasteur, a pair of dead parents, the movie turns traditional stereotypes about movie orphans on its head. "VelociPastor" shows you that you don’t need to be the child of wealthy families to see your parents killed in front of you — anyone, anywhere, can become an orphan at any time. If that’s not an uplifting message, I don’t know what is.
"VelociPastor" also used new filming trends like “text on screen” to help convey messages to their audience. No more exploding cars, or strange fires. Now, we can just say, “VFX: Car on fire.”
After having one of the best representations of Asian characters in recent memory (a single, non-specific martial artist who quickly dies), "VelociPastor" transforms into a vast, breathtaking cinematic masterpiece, with some of the most amazing shots of dinosaur-on-criminal violence we’ve seen since Ken Burns’ documentary "Jurassic Park." They also, for audiences that may not want to view violence, only flashed their incredible work, giving it an exquisite air of mystery.
Our hero is then saved by Carol, a woman of the night, who nurses him back to health. She asks him to fight crime as a dinosaur, raising the philosophical question of vigilantism and utilitarianism, something anyone who’s taken 80-100 will recognize. We’re thrown twists and turns, though, as the hero returns to his church to confess and then face an exorcism, only to fail and become a crime fighting dino-man. His first hurdle? Killing Carol’s pimp. His second? Fighting an army of ninjas hell bent on spreading cocaine to the public, in an effort to eventually cut off all the users and drive them to organized religion. In a fight scene rivaling that of "Avengers: Endgame," the ordained pastor kills the ninja clan, rips the head off its leader, and goes back to his life of crime-fighting.
"The VelociPastor" is an excellent movie, but I do have problems with it. Personally, I find its new use of text on screen to be underutilized, and I’d have preferred it if more scenes got replaced with floating text. It would have made the viewing experience much more concise, and much more enjoyable. The movie could also have put less effort into its plot and concision — the fact that I understood anything was a serious mark against this film, and I wish the scriptwriter had worked harder to obfuscate the situation. Finally, I’m not a big fan of this movie coming out in 2018. Considering its subject material, I wish the producers had put in the effort to get this released in the summer of 1987, where it deserves the spotlight.
All in all, "VelociPastor" is a crime-fighting family friendly flick for all ages, and one I’d definitely recommend you check out the next time you’re inebriated.
- Eshaan “Roger Ebert” Joshi