Henry Myers never wanted to kill anyone, but since he got caught up with the wrong guys, he feels like he has to fight to survive in the wild west. When a heist goes awry and leaves someone dead, Myers isolates himself from the world. However, he can’t keep his demons from haunting him. On the run from his old partners coming to collect, Henry becomes wounded and suddenly wakes up in the care of a farming family. They have no idea who he is or what he’s done, and he fears that his past will come back to haunt him if he sticks around too long. Little does he know that he has just been given a second chance.
Production Quality (2 points)
Echolight has always had a commitment to quality productions, and Henry Myers is no exception. The action-based camera work is done very well and the video quality is clear. Lighting is consistent throughout, including outside shots. Realistic historical surroundings are showcased through well-constructed sets and locations. The soundtrack is highly appropriate for the genre and mostly stays away from mediocrity. The biggest problem to highlight here is that there’s not enough editing. There are too many wasted scenes and silly musical montages. Nonetheless, Echolight sets a consistent standard in quality productions that should be in every Christian film.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though this film opens very strong with an attention-grabbing and action-packed prologue, it quickly fades to disappointment as we are handed the highlights from the Love Comes Softly series, the Erin Bethea remix. As previously mentioned, far too much time is wasted on ‘inspirational’ scenes. Too many things happen off screen and are not well explained. This predictable western plot is copied and pasted from Stock Plots Incorporated and the characters rigidly fit into stereotypical molds. There’s the bad guy trying to be good, the really bad guys who only do bad, the young Christian widow, the grumpy son who misses his father, the overly happy daughter, and of course, the sheriff. Things happen just because they’re supposed to and characters are swept along by the plot towards an inevitable and vague conclusion. What’s more, silly western slang dialogue peppers the script and is quite distracting. The one redeeming quality of the plot, besides the strong beginning, is its potential to be something great. This could have been an epic film, but it simply wasn’t.
Acting Quality (1 point)
This is actually a decent acting from Erin Bethea, but still had her cringe-worthy moments. On the flipside, the costuming is very professional and we are spared ridiculous makeup and hair jobs present in most Christian westerns. However, there are too many mumbled lines and emotion are often too extreme. This really could have been a better acting job.
The greatest sin in Christian film, besides making too many useless movies, is leaving potential on the table. This movie was branded as a western epic, and if you watch the beginning sequence, you can believe it. But as you continue to watch the film, you become more and more disappointed. Epic need twists and turns, deep characters, and a landmark climax. Henry Myers has a great message, but it’s just not enough. If you want to go all the way as a filmmaker, don’t leave anything on the field.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points