Orlando Leone is not in good health, but after inheriting his father’s gym, he finds himself with mounting debt and not enough income to cover his bills. His only choice is to re-enter the boxing scene and win a high-stakes prize fight in order to earn the money he needs to save the gym. However, the fight will be against his gravest rival. Will Orlando’s medical condition keep him from being the hero?
Production Quality (2 points)
For an early 2000s film, Carman’s self-titled ego trip is not a bad production all around. This means, as usual, that video quality and camera work are good, even in the sports action scenes. Audio quality is adequate, even though there are some minor background noise issues and the soundtrack is sometimes too loud. Yet there are plenty of good sets, locations, and props, especially pertaining to the sports elements. However, there are also some editing concerns, mostly pertaining to the sports montages and the slightly choppy presentation. But on the whole, this is an acceptable, above-average production.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
While there is some potential in this story, mostly pertaining to the realistic circumstances portrayed in this plot, there are also a lot of formulaic elements here. This film is basically your average sports redemption arc combined with a predictable save the farm with an impossible sports feat subtext, mixed with a dash of the medical complications subplot. Thus, the characters are too shallow as they mainly function as pawns in the plot’s circumstances that are inevitable regardless of what they do. Things happen because they need to and mostly consist of typical scenes and sports montages, as previously mentioned. The romantic subplot is cheesy and rushed and the villain is a strawman. There are also some unnecessarily edgy elements just because. Basically, while this was a nice try, it’s not good enough.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
Despite Carman being a lead in this film and putting a damper on things, the other cast members aren’t really half bad in this film. However, there are moments of emotion that are too dramatic and forced. The villain cast member is basically annoying. On the while, this is just one of those films that has good elements but is mostly forgettable.
Carman the Champion was a part of an early 2000s push from Trinity Broadcasting Network and others to bring a diverse collection of Christian films to the big screen, but the effort was not entirely successful. While this movie was sort of the first of its kind in Christian circles, replicating the basic Rocky plot using Carman isn’t really worth doing. Christians should be more creative than this, so maybe future film makers can take cues from this.
Final Rating: 4 out of 10 points
Methinks that Carman is trying to be the Christian version of Rocky Balboa in this movie.