Christian devotion is equated with American patriotism which is equated with being Batman -- or, at least, a heroic masked vigilante -- in Beyond the Mask, a religiously minded historical adventure devoid of excitement or nuance. Avoiding anything like a complicated emotion or motivation, Chad Burns's film details the plight of William Reynolds (Andrew Cheney), an assassin in 1775 England who's framed by his evil East India Trading Company employer Charles Kemp (John Rhys-Davies). On the run, William meets and falls in love with devout Charlotte (Kara Killmer), who teaches him about the Lord's redemptive powers, but who, unfortunately for William, turns out to be Kemp's niece!
Thus, William is forced to flee to Philadelphia, where he gets a job working for Ben Franklin (Alan Madlane) and doing pro-revolutionary work to save the 1776 Continental Congress from destruction as the mysterious Highwayman, a nocturnal do-gooder of a distinctly Dark Knight variety. Burns's direction is pure direct-to-video quality, while his performances are one-note, with every character portrayed as either angelic, demonic, or, as in the case of William, fundamentally deserving of divine salvation. Like so many spiritually minded efforts, it's a film that casts God as the preordained solution to its protagonist's problems -- a template that turns it into the same old sermon in only slightly different form.