The best in forgiving Christian values is at the heart of well-intentioned but weakly conceived “Walking Across Egypt.” By far the most distinguishing factor is Ellen Burstyn’s independent-minded Southern widower Mattie, a warm, well-rounded perf in which durable thesp plays a bit older than her age. Burstyn lends enormous credibility that keeps the barely pulsating pic alive, but that won’t be enough to stop this from going directly to family-oriented cable.
Mattie lives alone in a comfy old house, but after it’s established that she can’t handle a stray dog, or even her rocking chair, she may be off to the old folks’ home. A letter she eyes in the wallet of dogcatcher Lamar (Mark Hamill) sets off a hardly credible string of events. Lamar’s no-good nephew, Wesley (Jonathan Taylor Thomas), wends his way into Mattie’s confidence, and afterward he escapes from juvenile detention, into her home. Mattie’s liberal Christianity defies the odds, and pic fails to convey the situation’s potential danger, typified by the miscasting of harmless-looking Thomas.