Johnny is a foster boy with cancer who sees it as his mission to show people the truth and love of God even though he is suffering. When he encounters Dr. Carter, little do they know that both of their lives will be changed forever as a result. Dr. Carter and his wife are still hurting from the death of their young son, and though they are not ready to believe that Johnny could offer healing for them. However, God has other plans for all of them.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
In keeping with most recent PureFlix productions, Johnny is most fine. Video quality is on standard, but there are some unexplainable moments of shaky camera work. Audio quality is mostly what it should be, but the soundtrack is extremely uninspiring and sometimes it seems like the audio is overdubbed. Sets, locations, and props are professional. However, there are far too many montages in this film that serve as a crutch for actual content. Thus, the editing work is poor. Overall, this is an average production that should have been better than this, considering the funding it had.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though there is a somewhat good message behind Johnny, there is far too much melodrama that distracts from it. It is very difficult to connect with the struggles of the characters because they come off as very manufactured and plastic. The main character is very cheesily sappy and perfect, almost to the point of embarrassment. A lot of the dialogue from all the characters is very obvious and forceful in moving the plot along rather than developing the characters. Thus, the story follows a predictable progression that is obvious from the start. While there is nothing inherently wrong with the plotline itself, the way it is presented and the lack of authenticity really derails this film. Also, things are fixed too easily, which doesn’t really help us learn anything. In the end, these sorts of movies are very formulaic and are unfortunately designed to make money.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
Though this cast is intended to be professional, there is really no coaching present. While it is not all bad, there are far too many over the top emotions and yelling sequences. Everything is overly dramatic, which makes for a very distracting experience. This is not the way to make a meaningful film.
Johnny is one of those films that uses a generic and predictable plot structure to churn out a made-for-bookstore film that can be easily sold on the shelves. It contributes nothing to the field and only serves the purpose of generating revenue for the production company. A few weeks after the release, it is totally forgotten and eventually turns up in the cheap Walmart bins and in thrift stores. Christian film should not be about profit ventures, even though PureFlix has done this for about a decade now. However, hopefully that tide is turning.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points