'Beyond the Mask' a preachy American Revolution-era drama

Review: Chad Burns' 'Beyond the Mask' starring Andrew Cheney is an overstuffed faith-based costume drama

There's no disguising the subtext of "Beyond the Mask," a historical adventure that's essentially "National Treasure" delivered as a Sunday sermon.

Not that director Chad Burns ever implies otherwise. The faith-based impetus behind this redemptive, family-friendly, American Revolution-era yarn is placed front and center amid all the digitally assisted derring-do and skulduggery.

As a mercenary for the British East India Co., the notorious William Reynolds (Andrew Cheney) finds himself battling his own troubled conscience after faking his death and assuming the identity of a vicar.

His lack of conviction immediately rouses the suspicions of the lovely Charlotte (Kara Killmer), a young colonial woman with whom he's instantly smitten, but he must first find a way to address his violent past and wavering faith.

That's not the only thing that's wavering in this stagy, overstuffed costume drama. So are most of the period dialects, which constantly wobble between 18th century English and contemporary American.

Then there's the cut-and-paste script by Stephen Kendrick and Paul McCusker that manages to drag into the fray Benjamin Franklin (Alan Madlane), who dutifully proceeds to offer up a medley of his greatest quotes.

Somehow they overlooked "Lost time is never found again."

"Beyond the Mask."

MPAA rating: PG for action, violence, thematic elements.

Running time: 1 hour, 43 minutes.

Playing: AMC Orange 30; Pacific Winnetka 21, Chatsworth; Regal Foothill Towne Center 22, Foothill Ranch.

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