Ace Wonder, aka Gator Moore, always loves a good mystery and seeks to solve whichever ones come in front of him so that justice may be served. While traveling with his family on vacation, when their camper breaks down in a small Tennessee town, Gator accidentally stumbles upon a family with a mystery that needs solving. Derek Morton’s grandfather died unexpectedly and left behind a cryptic message that cause many to suspect he was crazy. However, Gator believes there is something bigger afoot and enlists his siblings to assist him in solving the case.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
After The Widow’s Might, it was difficult to see what the future of HeuMoore Productions was. However, with Ace Wonder: Message from a Dead Man, the HeuMoore team has demonstrated adequate improvement. Video quality is professional, and camera work is fine except for some weird camera angles that attempt to be suspenseful. Audio quality is great and the original soundtrack is creative without SINGING. Sets, locations, and props are good but somewhat limited. There are some cheesy special effects utilized, but animation is actually used effectively and enhances the film. Finally, editing is quite good, thus rounding out an overall average production. This is definitely a great effort for an underfunded project, and it is great to see this team continually improving.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though there is some potential to this Ace Wonder plot, it is still a mostly formulaic suspense\mystery storyline. The story is based on too many coincidences, mystery clichés, and clues being found at opportune times. Though there is way too much narration, the dialogue and characters are actually good, which shows that this team is trying to make a good film. This story would be way better with a little more creativity and real plot twists, as well as a less fundamentalist portrayal of women. Mysteries are certainly a hard genre to write, since it’s easy to fall into cheesy coincidences, so they might consider trying a different genre next time. Overall, it is great to have a different genre in Christian film for once, and this team certainly has the potential and wherewithal to go further in their careers to do something great.
Acting Quality (2.5 points)
Though Ace Wonder uses a lot of the same cast members from The Widow’s Might, there are others that make for a greatly improved acting experience. It seems like all of the cast members from the previous film have honed their skills better. This category is actually the most improved as there are really no glaring errors except for a few minor missteps. Once again, this gives great hope for the future.
Coming back from the horrific Widow’s Might couldn’t have been easy for HeuMoore Productions, but on the whole, despite their unusual worldview that needs broadening, the Moore team really seems like they are trying this time. They definitely put forth more effort in the production and acting departments and it is encouraging that they are showing improvements, especially since they are committed to breaching different genres in Christian film. The biggest blessing of Ace Wonder was the lack of cast members singing. Now if they can continue to hone their plot creativity and shed some of the odd components of their worldview, they will really be on the track to greatness. After The Widow’s Might, I never thought I would be saying this, but the HeuMoore team has great potential for the future.
Final Rating: 4.5 out of 10 points