First Sunday is a movie about forgiveness that asks its audience to forgive too much - with regard to both its characters and its makers.
Set in Baltimore, with a few exteriors shot downtown, this uneven comedy plays a robbery and hostage-taking at a church for laughs, even when its supposedly sympathetic main character pulls a gun and seems plenty ready to use it. The movie is so confused about itself that it comes across as toneless, a bunch of characters wandering around in a story no one is controlling. Even as one wants to cut it some slack for good intentions, the film's scattershot assortment of moods, styles and even character-types keeps dragging it down.
First Sunday (Screen Gems) Starring Ice Cube, Tracy Morgan, Chi McBride. Written and directed by David E. Talbert. Rated PG-13. Time 96 minutes.
Watch a preview of First Sunday at baltimoresun.com/firstsunday