When the Evans family comes to the small town of New Hope to pastor the church, they inadvertently walk into a hurting town that’s still lost and confused following the unexpected suicide of their basketball star. The oldest son, Michael, suddenly realizes that he has accidentally filled the shoes of the late town legend, and immediately becomes a target for the angry best friend of the dead hero. The Evans family and the town must together navigate the wake of suicide and determine how they are going to discover a new identity together.
Production Quality (1.5 points)
For a little known independent film, the production of New Hope is decent enough. The camera work is average and the angles are good. The video and sound qualities are consistently above par. However, the musical score is uninspiring and there are quite a few editing errors. Scenes are cut off at odd times, some scenes are awkwardly placed, while others seem completely unnecessary. While most of the surface issues are covered, there is simply too much amateurish editing for the production to be rated any better.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Dealing with life after the suicide of a family member and friend is an issue that needs to be discussed in the context of film, but New Hope is either too melodramatic, too inauthentic, or too inappropriate. Dialogue is too obvious and dramatic, thus making extreme characters. Michael is an okay character, but the others are not accessible. There are too many screaming matches throughout. There is a generally offbeat flavor to New Hope, like there’s something the characters aren’t saying out loud. There is also some inappropriate content that doesn’t belong in a supposedly family-friendly movie, all in the context of a bizarre and forced romantic subplot. Overall, this plot meanders along with emotional outbursts, picture taking, and basketball games, without really accomplishing anything. The end is very rushed and the implied scenes during the credits are absurd. In short, there is little to be positive about here.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
The story here is much like the production quality—it’s good, but not good enough. Some actors and actresses perform well while others do not. Emotional delivery and line delivery are inconsistent. Costuming is average. Overall, this is just average.
New Hope had the right idea to try harder on production than most Christian films, but it never found its story identity. The plot is a vague idea that it slapped together with sports elements and a pathetic attempt to be edgy. The bottom line is that the creators rushed ahead too quickly and didn’t think this movie through. We feel that the resources could have been used more appropriately, as will your time in watching this film.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points