Images in this post may contain affiliate links which, if a purchase is made from those sites, I may earn money or products from the company.
An 18-year-old who had a rough upbringing is trying to change his life around. However, his faith gets tested as some old friends from his past try to mess up the good thing he has going for him since he knows about the hiding place of a major score.
I don’t know how or why I end up covering faith-based films, considering religion isn’t my cup of tea, yet here we are again. But unlike some of the faith-based films covered in the past, there is a focus on young people here and that comes with its unique set of highlights and low points. Some of which deal with how much this feels like an ABC Family teen soap opera, as well as the film ultimately feeling a bit too long. However, unlike quite a few which are badly acted and a bit heavy-handed, I’d say this was a decent little film. Though I wouldn’t say I’d watch it twice.
Main Storyline (with Commentary)
At 18 years old, Brendan (Crawford Wilson) has been through a lot. His mother died, his father is who knows where, and between misdemeanors, felonies, and juvie, he has not only been through a lot but has done a lot. However, during his last stint, he found religion and a man named Mike (James McDaniel) decides the boy deserves a chance at normalcy. So he decides to be a foster parent of sorts to young Brendan and helps him get acclimated.
Unfortunately, though, while Brendan does make friends and takes part in the school’s religious club, his friends from the old neighborhood slither back into his life. Something which, if they just wanted to see an old friend, would have been fine. But with them wanting Brendan’s knowledge on some old drugs buried somewhere, Brendan finds this new normalcy under constant threat. Especially as his old friends threaten not only his present setting but the future he was hoping to build.
Things To Note
Kayla Compton, who plays Natalie, Brendan’s love interest, I swear to god I thought she was Jamie Lynn Spears. In fact, her and Fionna Criddle, who reminds me of someone from Zoey 101, had me feeling like I was watching a Zoey 101 spin-off.
Has a Guilty Pleasure TV Show Vibe: As said with a handful of movies covered on here, something about this film seems like a supercut. I mean, from Brendan being a reformed bad boy, the popular girl having a drug problem, the reformed bad boy becoming friends with the outcast, and then the popular girl falling for him, this movie just screams ABC Family back when Secret Life of the American Teenager was on. Though with a bit more religion than I think most networks would dabble in.
Faith Is Portrayed As A Complex Thing: Every now and then I find myself watching films which lay down the concept of faith heavy, but it isn’t too often the acting is decent nor the writing. King’s Faith is a bit different, though. For while the faith of the characters is portrayed in a slightly heavy-handed way, with it being balanced out by characters who don’t have it, question the reason for it, and yearn for it but can’t bring themselves to believe, I think this film really tried to not have that weird split many faith-based films have. That is, where pretty much the antagonist lack faith and the good ones have it, and the lead wavers but eventually comes back to the light.
The Characters Are Memorable and Likable: While most of the characters we see are familiar, and their actions predictable, that familiarity doesn’t necessarily work against them. Wilson, for example, seems like your usual cute bad boy type, but the touch of vulnerability makes it seem like he wasn’t just plucked from some mall and put into a movie solely for his looks. Same goes for most of the cast for while they are generic in many ways, they have a bit more of that special something than what you are used to when it comes to youth-focused stories.
The Fight Scene Between Brendan and his crew was cool.
Don’t Expect To Cry: Despite conversations about children dying, parents dying, and hardships in general, this film doesn’t really push you to get teary eyed or do more than recognize someone is going through something.
This Film Feels Too Long: Being that after some time the film honestly comes off like a TV Pilot, it makes it so when it gets past an hour you are wondering when this is going to be over. Then once it reaches an hour and a half you are wondering how much longer is this going for, and by an hour and 40 minutes you want to just keep the bar showing so you know when you can finally be done.
On The Fence
Time Spent Exploring Backstories: With this film nearly being 2 hours, I must say I wish some of that time was spent really pushing different topics like Natalie’s (Kayla Compton) Ritalin problem, Vanessa (Lynn Whitfield) ostracizing herself, showing us more of Brendan’s life before he turned it around, and maybe even Eli (Brandon Correa) and the rest of Brendan’s friends thoughts up to confronting Brandan about where their friend’s stash was buried.
How do you make a person trustworthy? Trust Them.
— King’s Faith