Jake Abraham feels stifled in his life. Even though he has a guaranteed job working for his father’s successful farming business, he never has enough. His conflicts with his brother and desire to experience the world drive him to quit his job and ask his father for his inheritance. His father gives him what he wants, thus sending Jake on a quest to acquire all the pleasure he can get and to use his money to make a name for himself in ‘important’ circles. But no matter how many perks he buys for himself and how many rich people he hangs out with, nothing ever satisfies the hole in his soul.
Production Quality (1 point)
For starters, the most positive element of this movie’s production is the clear video quality. This make the movie look good on the surface. However, the beauty is only skin deep, so to speak. The camera angles are confusing at times and the editing is isolating. There are many unnecessary scenes of characters walking around and staring. Some scenes seem like they were not properly cut for the final draft. The sound quality is inconsistent; some scenes are substantially quieter than others. In addition, there is an unprecedented number of eccentric product placements that are no doubt funding this low quality production. In short, it’s just the same song, different verse for an independent Christian film.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
There are interesting nuggets of quality mired in this cheap plot. The integration of a famous parable into a semi-believable real world situation is noble. However, it gets washed away in a river of wasted time. In an attempt to be realistic, there are too many suggestive elements that could have been presented in a more tasteful manner without tarnishing the movie. The characters are very shallow and wooden, prodded by cheap and cheesy dialogue that was obviously not edited or proofread. The end is very rushed, leaving some characters and subplots in awkward positions.
Acting Quality (0 points)
A majority of the actors are very awkward. Their lines seem very forced and intended comedy falls flat. Some lines are downright perplexing and seem impromptu. Jason Burkey has been better in other movies, which reflects the lack of acting coaching in A Long Way Off. Robert Amaya is a fine actor, but he only has two scenes. Some alleged fight scenes have a Three Stooges feel to them. Unfortunately, there is nothing good to say here.
Unfortunately, this type of movie is becoming the norm in Christian movie circles. Creators have seeming good ideas and intentions and decide to rush a direct-to-DVD release, funded by quasi-Christian product placements. No time or thought are given to developing a quality plot with realistic characters, and no care is taken to coach the actors. The production is sloppy en route to forcing another Christian movie into the market. These ill-advised actions only further hurt the cause of Christian movies, lowering overall quality and causing people to laugh at whatever Christians make. It’s time for someone to stand up and end this assembly line production and replace it with truly quality Christian movies that can be upheld rather than shunned.
Final Rating: 2 out of 10 points