17 August 2014

Movie Review: "Abel's Field"

Rated: PG for thematic elements, brief violence, and a smoking scene
Starring: Kevin Sorbo, Samuel Davis, and Nicole Elliot
Released: September 15, 2012
Life has been hard recently for Seth McArdle (Samuel Davis).  After the death of his mother and being abandoned by his father, he is left as the sole guardian of his younger twin sisters.  When he gets into a fight with one of the football players at his high school, he is forced to help the school's custodian, Abel (Kevin Sorbo, God's Not Dead), install a sprinkler system for the school's football field.  When a massive debt arises, Seth is, out of desperation, tempted to get the funds to pay it through illegal means.  As his new friend, Abel wants to steer him in the right direction...but, is Seth too far gone to refrain from making the biggest mistake he has ever made in his life?

Warning! Spoilers below!

The Good
This is better than usual for a Christian film.  Abel is a Christian who is nonetheless deeply flawed.  Seth is a likable protagonist; many viewers will likely identify with his struggles, even if theirs' are a bit different.  All of the actors did very well, and the sets were convincing enough.  Positive elements abound, such as not judging people because they have tattoos; though I have no plans to get "inked," I have Christian friends who are, and they'd probably appreciate that.  Also, the ending is much better than usual for Christian films; though Seth chooses to follow God, and things work out for him as a result, he doesn't automatically end up with a girlfriend, a large house, and a job where he rakes in the dough.

The Bad
Nothing too terrible; probably the biggest problem was the soundtrack, which had right many sub-par songs.  A scene where Abel grabs Seth might be too much for some kids, and smoking and drinking, though minimal, are present.

Though Christian cinema has been around for decades, it has taken a new life as of late.  Christian bookstores are now filled with DVDs that feature everything from talking vegetables to end-times action to family drama...all of which are intended to point the viewer towards Jesus Christ.  We're even seeing more Christian films released in theaters than in previous years.  Though not perfect, Abel's Field is a well-made Christian film that is worth at least a rental.  You may not enjoy it again and again, but it's definitely an uplifting flick that doesn't suffer from poor production values (C Me Dance) or an unrealistic ending (Grace Unplugged).

Score: 3.75/5

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