10 August 2015

Movie Review: "Road to Redemption"

Rated: PG for thematic elements and mild violent content
Starring: Julie Condra, Pat Hingle, Leo Rossi, and Jay Underwood
Released: February 16, 2001
Synopsis: Amanda Tucker (Julie Condra) is in quite the jam.  One unfortunate circumstance after another leaves her and her boyfriend (Jay Underwood, Not Quite Human) penniless, their house wrecked...and themselves a quarter million dollars in debt! Not sure what else to do, Amanda takes a road trip to meet her opulent long lost grandfather (Pat Hingle), who she hasn't seen since she was a kid.  When they first meet, he agrees to give her the money...as long as they go fishing at the same spot they did years ago, which is hundreds of miles away! With Amanda's debtor--who is part of the mob!--hot on their tail, it's going to take everything they've got to emerge victorious!
Produced by Billy Graham's World Wide Pictures.

The Good: I've seen other films sponsored by Billy Graham, but, this is the first one that was a comedy, and, I have to admit it was pretty funny.  While it did have its serious moments--and what flick doesn't?--some parts made me laugh out loud.  The message is one that more and more people need to take to heart these days.  All of the actors did very well, provided both the required silliness and maturity, depending on the scene.  The production values are on par with a similarly themed secular release.

The Bad: The only complaint I have is that the ending was a bit too pat, though that was undone slightly by a scene after the credits start...so, wait before you push that "Stop" button!

Content Concerns: I've said before that I won't do my usual listing for Christian-themed entertainment, so, here's what I'll say: Slapstick violence is quite present here, and the lead actress seems to be meant as eye candy, as she is seen in form-fitting tops quite often, and her midriff is seen a time or two.  (Spoiler Warning!) Some viewers may have a problem with how she comes to Jesus; she says a prayer to welcome Jesus into her heart, and no baptism is seen. (End Spoilers!)

Conclusion: Me and this movie have an interesting history: I first heard of it when I was at a Baptist church--I myself am not a Baptist, though I am a Christian--for my cousin's wedding in 2001, right around the time of its release; there was a big poster advertising it on one of the church's walls.  I went back and forth about seeing it, and have had it on DVD for quite a while, but just got around to watching it this past week.  Much like Moms' Night Out, this is a madcap comedy adventure that also features a dose of morality.  Fans of recent Christian cinema such as God's Not Dead or Fireproof should definitely check this old-school flick out; be prepared to laugh...and smile!

Score: 4.5/5

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