When Amanda decides to steal a bag of money from her boss, she and her boyfriend elect to bet it on a racehorse so that they can not only give the money back, but also keep a big portion for themselves. What they didn’t anticipate was losing all of it at the races and suddenly finding themselves on the run from mafia hitmen. Then Amanda has an idea—sweet talk her elderly grandfather into giving her the money she needs to pay back her boss. But her grandfather has another idea: in order for Amanda to get the money, she has to go fishing with him at his childhood favorite location in Redemption, Montana. Along the way, Amanda discovers something about herself and her family that she never anticipated—something more important than money.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
For a little known independent project, the production quality of Road to Redemption is overall pretty good. The money is obviously spent well, with great video and sound quality throughout. The camera work is above average, including great action sequences. Some of the sets and locations seem cheaply limited, but others are quite good. There are some cheesy special effects, but the editing is fairly good. Overall, there are a few minor production errors, but it is quite good in all, especially considering the age of the film and the limited budget.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1.5 points)
Road to Redemption is a rare type of Christian movie—an action comedy. There is plenty of real humor and satire throughout, as the story pokes fun of many overused suspense antidotes. There are some cheesy elements throughout that could be passed as satire, but some of it is hard to discern. While the plot has a slightly improbable premise, there is pretty good dialogue that builds the flawed characters. Some character behavior is a bit silly, but when viewed through the lens of satire, it makes sense. Worldwide Pictures always demonstrated a commitment to a clear gospel presentation in their stories, and they do so here. The plot’s biggest tarnish is its predictable and unrealistic end that patches everything up too well and leaves more questions than answers. Because of this, the plot comes out as just average, but it still provides comic relief.
Acting Quality (2 points)
This cast is mostly professional, and they appear to be coached well, which is something Worldwide Pictures did to set themselves apart. There are some slightly forced attempts at comedy and some over the top emotions that keep the cast from being all that they could be. But despite these missteps, the acting in Road to Redemption surpasses the average mark.
Worldwide Pictures found a way, in the earlier days of Christian films, to present a Gospel message to their audiences packaged in a quality Christian movie that is enjoyable and watchable. No one was doing what they were doing with movies in the late 90s and early 2000s. It’s a shame that they no longer are actively making films, but their work can serve as a model to follow today. It’s also a shame that Road to Redemption didn’t make it to the Hall of Fame—it was so close. But it still is a great comedy movie that we would recommend.
Final Rating: 6 out of 10 points