When their father dies, three brothers are tasked with taking his ashes to their dad’s favorite place in the California wilderness. However, because each son knew their father at different stages in his checkered life, they all have different perspectives of him. As a result, each brother lives completely different lives. However, they will have to learn how to overcome their differences in order to face the future together.
Production Quality (.5 point)
End of the Trail has a surprisingly bad production for 2019. This includes poor lighting, odd camera angles, shaky camera work, and off-putting zooms. The video is a bit blurry at times, and while the audio is mostly acceptance, the soundtrack seems out of place and too loud. There are also some echoes, background noises, and extremely obvious overdubs. Flashbacks tend to have a weird quality to them. What’s more, the editing is incredibly choppy, sometimes cutting off scenes for no reason. Odd occasions of slow motion sometimes disrupt the viewing experience, and despite some very small improvements as the production does on, it’s just not enough to warrant a higher score.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
From the very start, End of the Trail is guided by heavy-handed narration that comes and goes at will. It attempts to tie scenes together that seem randomly thrown together without continuity between them and out of place in the big picture. Besides being mostly boring and aimless, mindless conversations and unnecessary language produce empty characters, including strawmen depictions of non-Christians. Also, ‘bad’ characters have incredibly steep arcs and unrealistic conversions just for the sake of it. Despite this narrative’s tiny amount of potential, exploring broken family systems through intriguing flashbacks, it’s overshadowed by terrible storytelling. The plot finally crashes into a forced conclusion that lacks believable buildup and tries to claim unearned victories. In the end, this is just another one of those forgettable experiences.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
Even with vanilla acting, this section is surprisingly the film’s best aspect. With nothing particularly special or horrible, the acting earns an average score. Through emotions are forced at times, there are enough good elements to justify this rating, yet it doesn’t help the movie’s overall abysmal performance.
As we’ve said over and over again, 2019 is not the time for such low-quality offerings. That year was particularly bloated with new screenplays, and a vast majority of them were extremely unnecessary. All they did was further contribute to the already-negative view of Christian entertainment. Hopefully, in the coming days, future creators can reverse this tide.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points