03 June 2017

Movie Review: "Repeat Performance"

Rated: Not Rated (Dove Approved for ages twelve and up)
Starring: Joe Manning, Lisa Crittenden, and Christopher Page
Released: 1996
Synopsis: Things have not been going well for New Zealand teen Sean Purchase (Joe Manning).  Not only did his mother leave him when he was only seven years old, but his father recently committed suicide, leaving his father's girlfriend as his sole guardian.  Just when things seemingly can't get any worse, Sean's so-called friend Aaron hits and kills a child with Sean's car...with Sean in the passenger seat! With the police on the lookout for him, it seems that he has nowhere to turn.  Will he ever be proven innocent?
From World Wide Pictures.

The Good: For a 1990s Christian movie, this is actually well-done.  The actors all do very well, and the plot kept me involved.  Having New Zealand as the setting adds a bit of charm.  Even the closed captioning--which has been either absent or poorly done in many an "inspirational" film--was very good in this movie.

The Bad: Despite the production values, this still doesn't go down as one of the best Christian movies I've seen.  It's rather short--barely over an hour, counting closing credits--but, the biggest complaint I have is the ending. [Spoiler Warning!] The plot threads are left completely unresolved.  Did Sean face community service, jail time, or neither? Did Aaron ever confess his mistake? The film doesn't say! It's almost like an unfinished product, which is disappointing. [End Spoilers!]

Content Concerns:
  • Sex: It is implied that Sean's mother and father are both in illicit sexual relationships.
  • Nudity: None.
  • Language: Name-calling, at worst.
  • Violence: A man commits suicide (implied); a kid is hit by a car and killed (not graphic, but intense); chase scenes involving a kid running from the police.
  • Drugs: Two teens drink, and end up in an automobile accident as a result.
  • Frightening/Intense Scenes: Emotional intensity throughout, especially regarding the death of the child; a kid seems to consider suicide.
Conclusion: World Wide Pictures is a movie ministry of sorts sponsored by Billy Graham, who gets a few minutes of screen time in this film.  As a Christian, I feel conflicted by this film; the wonderful production values make me proud, but the briefness of the movies and the inane ending upset me.  Even fans of Christian cinema may feel disappointed; I know I was.  It's a shame that a film with such potential was ruined like this.

Score: 2/5

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