- Dave Ebert
A Father's Fight - Review
At Gifts for Glory, we love to see more and more faith-based, message-driven content hitting the marketplace. Movies are becoming less Hallmark+God, instead becoming more enjoyable because they are more real. And, forthcoming in 2021, A Father's Fight is one of those gritty, real stories that break the Hallmark Movie mold.
A Father's Fight was filmed in Kentucky on a budget of about $30K. In movie terms, that is nothing. In most Hollywood movies, an actor can earn that much in one day on set. The entire film cost $30K, so it's going to be lame with bad acting and terrible lighting and sound, right?
Like Jesus did with the fishes and loaves, the small $30K was multiplied into a wonderful feature film with grit, hope, humor, and a solid story.
Is this the greatest movie ever? I won't say that at all. As a man of God, and as someone who is speaking about fellow men and women of God, dishonesty is not appropriate. But, this movie is well worth your time and whatever investment is needed to see it.
Grit and reality? Yes. Bo Lawson (Travis Hancock), the lead character, is a drunk, even a potentially physically abusive drunk. Yes, there is drinking. Yes, there is some pushing and threatening of domestic violence. Well done and realistic without being gratuitous and definitely not weak or fake looking. This back story to introduce us to Bo's character is well told. You do not like the guy. Which is precisely what the story needs you to feel.
You see Bo's character without cursing or unnecessary demonstration. The balance in storytelling and acting tells the story in such a way, you can show it anywhere to anyone. Some feel you need to go "there" to be real and to be "accepted." A Father's Fight proves otherwise here. Director Tyler Sansom tells this story without being gratuitous nor cheesy.
Late in the movie as Bo's transformation is developing, there is a scene in the grocery story that is confusing. It does seem to be a set up for an affair, or at least an interest in one (Though not from Bo's side of the conversation). The payoff later is okay, and makes the store scene make some more sense. This one scene and the payoff are the only major weaknesses in the story. We know, in the end, what we were seeing. But, the rest of the story and production make up for this weak link.
The next somewhat weak link is the climatic fight. As a guy, I feel we could have used more of the fight. The fight was solid and told a good story, but I think we could have had more of it. You did know who the winner was going to be, even in the split decision (think Rocky Balboa...The long-retired Rocky was never going to beat the reigning champ.) I think the fight could have done a little more for the character and the entertainment. Just to be clear, though, I am being nit-picky here.
With the drinking and the fighting, there are going to be some in Christianity who think this movies goes too far. With the lack of cursing, lack of gratuitous violence, lack of more "grit," some less restrained Christians will call even this film weak. However, that's the fringe and I believe this film can cover a very broad audience.
Overall, this film is well done and really among landmarks in Christian films. It is okay to be gritty and not violate tenets of faith. Good storytelling, solid camera work, and good acting make this film very fun.
Oh, and hugh shoutout to the music on this one! Phenomenal music on this film!
I rate this movie 8 out of 10 stars. It is well worth seeing and supporting.
Find A Father's Fight on Facebook @afathersfightmovie or on IMDb.
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