|Rated: PG-13 for street and ring violence, and drug content|
Starring: Carman, Michael Nouri, Patricia Manterola
Release Date: March 2, 2001
This one kept me involved until the end. Rarely do I watch an entire movie in one day, but I was flipping back and forth between American Idol on live television and this movie on my DVD player just to see how it ended. It proved to be a rather inspirational tale of faith and strength--of more than one kind--and had positive Christian elements worthy of a Ted Dekker or Karen Kingsbury novel.
Production Values: 5/5
Carman: The Champion was a winner in this department, too. The acting was great; the action scenes were spot-on, both inside and outside the ring; the soundtrack, which featured other CCM artists/bands such as KJ-52 and Skillet alongside a song or two by the movie's titular star, was amazing; and, frankly, I can't come up with any complaints in this department.
Moral Content: 3.5/5
This film may have been made by TBN, but its content is in the same territory as same-rated Christian flick To Save a Life. The violence is very intense; not only do the boxing matches get a bit bloody at times, but there is a combination gunfight/car chase that ends with a fatal explosion. A scene where a bunch of guys gang up on someone in a van and smash his vehicle would likely unnerve kids, especially since a cute Golden Retriever puppy is sitting right next to the victim.
When it comes to sexual content: A woman getting pregnant as a teenage by an older man is discussed. Keshon is a bit of a womanizer, and the party where he and Orlando features some slightly immodestly dressed women dancing a bit provocatively; however, that is all vilified. They're not the only ones, though; the female lead is almost always wearing something low-cut or off-the-shoulder, and a minor female character is seen in a bikini. There are even some shirtless guys, as well.
The only profanity is when Keshon endorses a drink with a profane name, though it is referred to multiple times--including seeing the name onscreen--during the scene. That, along with the implied drug usage, is shown as those characters' downfalls; still, everything I mentioned in this section makes this inappropriate for young kids and even overly sensitive teens and adults.
Conclusion: I was really surprised by this one! Well-made Christian movies are hard to find; for all the good ones, such as those by the Kendricks, you have inane dreck like C Me Dance, which was tops on the list of the worst movies I saw last year. Still, Carman: The Champion deserves a spot alongside The Imposter and October Baby as one of my favorite Christian movies, ever. Though not for children because of content--I hope you read what I said above before deciding to watch this with your family!--for most other folks, this movie is a definite Champion.