25 September 2014

Movie Review: "Ace of Hearts"

Rated: PG for some violence and thematic elements
Starring: Dean Cain, Britt McKillip, and Anne Marie DeLuise
Released: 2008
Officer Dan Harding (Dean Cain, God's Not Dead) and his canine partner Ace are well known in their area for catching criminals...but, there's one thief they just haven't been able to catch.  When Ace spots the elusive robber and chases him down, it appears that the German Shepherd attacked him.  Dan and his daughter Julia (Britt McKillip) know that Ace wouldn't do that...but the evidence is all there, which means that Ace will have to be euthanized.  Will Ace be proven innocent in time? Will the thief get caught?
Based on a true story from Reader's Digest.

The Good
The production values here were all pretty good, including the acting, the sets, the soundtrack, etc.  The makers obviously tried to keep this family-friendly; there was no profanity, save for one use of the d-word towards the end.  Church is apparently a part of this family's life; though they are never seen attending services, Julia talks about "a line in the Sunday school pageant," which is actually from John 20:29.  As for the story itself, though it does have its slow moments, it actually kept me interested.

The Bad
My biggest problem was with the main villain; he was surprisingly scary for what appears to be a kid's flick, especially when you realize that this is based on a true story.  The "violence" mentioned in the MPAA advisory includes two scenes that are a bit bloody, such as one where a dog is stabbed by a piece of glass.  As for the "thematic elements," not only would the thought of euthanizing a dog upset some kids, but Dan and his wife Lily are seen passionately kissing and talking about making up for the fact that they didn't get a honeymoon when they first got married.  Lily also appears to be meant as eye candy, as nearly every outfit she wears is a bit low-cut.

Like The Dust Factory, this was a DVD I found on MovieStop's clearance rack.  Unlike that movie, though, Ace of Hearts was actually at least halfway decent.  It's probably not something I would watch again, but, for what it was, it was a fun, enjoyable animal flick.  Parents may want to screen it before showing it to their kids, though.

Score: 3.5/5

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