10 March 2013

Movie Review: "Carman: The Champion"

Rated: PG-13 for street and ring violence, and drug content
Starring: Carman, Michael Nouri, Patricia Manterola 
Release Date: March 2, 2001
Synopsis: Orlando Leone was once a champion boxer, but, after losing his title in a big bout, he begins an inner city ministry, where he is known as The Preacher.  When larger-than-life pugilist Keshon throws a raucous party at a hotel, Orlando is called in to stop him, and ends up knocking Keshon to the ground.  The highly publicized altercation makes Keshon challenge Orlando, who hasn't been in the ring in ten years.  With criminals out to get him, a ministry to run, a woman who is reluctant to get involved with a minister, a kid under his wing, and Orlando's dream on the line, it seems that faith is the only thing that can save him…but will it be enough?

Story: 5/5
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.

Score: 4.5/5

No comments:

Post a Comment