Leap of Faith (1992) Movie Review

Leap of Faith (1992)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Steve Martin in Leap of Faith (1992)

Steve Martin's Miracle Man

When fake faith healer Jonas Nightengale (Steve Martin - HouseSitter) finds his travelling show stranded in a small back water town thanks to one of his trucks breaking down, he decides to not waste an opportunity and sets about putting on a show and making some money. But Sheriff Will Braverman (Liam Neeson - Taken) believes that Jonas is a con artist, a fake miracle man and sets about bringing him and his whole rolling show down despite falling for his assistant Jane Larson (Debra Winger - An Officer and a Gentleman).

Steve Martin is that star of "Leap of Faith", the movie works because of him but it nearly didn't happen that way as Michael Keaton was originally cast as miracle man Jonas Nightengale. This is not playing down Michael Keaton as an actor but the role of Jonas Nightengale required a showman, a crowd pleaser who you can believe can think on his feet and duck and dive and it is that which Steve Martin brings to the part. But Steve Martin does so in such a way we get this mix where we have a comedic aspect we also get some dramatic depth which makes Jonas one of those lovable rogues, the smooth talker full of charm.

Lukas Haas in Leap of Faith (1992)

Now beyoned Steve Martin's entertaining performance "Leap of Faith" has a couple of other things going on with this drama which sees Jonas beginning to question what he does due to the faith of a young man who is crippled and shows up at one of his fake revival meetings. I am not going to tell you that this or a romantic subplot is the most enthralling drama you will ever see but it has some depth and it works nicely alongside the entertainment side of the movie.

Now on the subject of entertainment what we also get to see are the various mechanisms which showmen, confidence tricksters, conmen and fake faith healers use to get information on those who show up so that they can appear to have divine insight. It is a wonderful mix of being jaw dropping shocking and also entertaining as we see old people placed in wheelchairs and gossip over heard by plants and volunteers around the revival tents.

What this all boils down to is that in general "Leap of Faith" is very enjoyable, not laugh out loud funny but very entertaining. The balance of comedy and drama works surprisingly well, with the comedy side of it taking a backseat to the story when needs be.