Blurring the line between fact and faith, this dramatization of Mormon leader John Groberg's three years as a missionary in Tonga suffers from suspense-killing righteousness. The teenage messiah revives a dead native boy, cures members of his flock of smoking and drinking (sometimes in a single take), and makes short work of the language barrier, having his feet gnawed by rats, and the temptations of a grass-skirted islander. A grinning Sabu-like assistant looks on admiringly, as do the islanders pressing Groberg's shirts; evidently the worthiness of “building the empire” is not open to question. Even the target audience—religious families—might find this one unsatisfying. Director Mitch Davis adapted the script from Groberg's memoir In the Eye of the Storm; with Christopher Gorham and Joe Folau. 113 min.
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