Directed By: Tom Shadyac
Written By: Doug Atchinson
Cinematography: Ricardo Diaz
Editor: Greg Hayden
Cast: Aldis Hodge, Greg Kinnear, Sherri Shepherd, Dorian Missick, Morgan Freeman, Tiffany Dupont, Melanie Liburd, Xosha Roquemore
A football player’s dreams to play in the NFL are halted when he is wrongly convicted and sent to prison. Years later, he fights to clear his name within an unjust system.
This film is based on a true story and it ends up being a feel good movie. That feels like a Christian movie of only because other then some minor language and subject matter it feels as innocent as the character in the middle of the drama. So that they have perimeters in where the story can go.
The main character goes through his fair amount of troubles and problems. He always stays positive and rarely if ever gets down and shows a shocking level of perseverance. Though he is played as too innocent at times. Except really in one scene he seems not to have any weaknesses or vices. He always seems to be a victim of circumstance that just feels more white washed. Where it works for the movie but feels more like a production or a representation of a type. Standing in for a belief rather then a person.
Even the film shows the injustices he has gone through where even when he agrees to a plea bargain and is still punished just as harshly as if he went to trial.
Throughout the film we get vague notions of the other people he comes across but not anything too personal. As we see what the characters represent and their beliefs then actually coming across as three dimensional.
The well known cast certainly helps to keep your interest. Even if the material feels familiar It’s nice to watch a movie that isn’t too jaded and is a complete feel good. As even though there is a minor romance it doesn’t take over the narrative and seems more there to offer him A connection and to be a kind of audience surrogate.
Not to mention the parole officer who is doing his job and dogging Brian Banks who manages to surprise him At every turn. usually for the worse and then finally near the end for the better. Even as his character shows the real torture that banks has to go through for his freedom and trying to bait live his life.
While the film tries not to villianize his accusers they never really come off as sympathetic. If anything more selfish and stereotypical. Then again they are supposed to be to a degree. As they are the characters who sent him to his fate. So the film could be kind of portraying them as being cursed or suffering for what they did to him.
Morgan Freeman plays a supporting role in the movie uncredited as a mentor who is almost god like in his presence. As a character the main character looks to whenever he is challenged or feels at the end of his rope.
This was Director Tom Shadyac’s return to filmmaking after over 8 years of an absence after directing movies such as BRUCE ALMIGHTY and EVAN ALMIGHTY, He has been teaching filmmaking at the university of Memphis.
The film places faith and positivity above all others in this tale. It does make you feel good and have faith in the good for human beings.