Jake has a dream job, a flashy fiancé, and everything he ever wanted, until one day when it all comes crashing down. He is forced by his boss to take the fall for something illegal the company did and is left homeless and on the run from the law. Jake has nowhere to turn, so he is forced to go back to the home he ran from—including the father and the girlfriend he left behind to pursue his dreams. What he finds is that everything he was looking for was right in front of him.
Production Quality (2 points)
In the recent days of PureFlix, they have mastered the art of doing just enough to make a production look good on the surface. Turn Around Jake is no exception to this rule. Camera work, video quality, and audio quality are all on par. The soundtrack is one of those childish attempts at comedy tunes, but is mostly typical. Sets and locations are fairly limited but are passable. There is really no editing present as the storyline just follows a stereotypical progression. In short, there is really nothing out of the ordinary to say about this production—it’s standard and a little above average.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
Turn Around Jake is really nothing but a typical city-character-returns-to-struggling-hometown-and-fixes-things plots. This is also mixed with a dose of a prodigal character plot. Everything is there: the old girlfriend, the parental character, the city characters who try to pull him back, and the other rural caricatures. Besides this word-out premise, there are a lot of absurdly childish characters, dialogue, and asides that really make no sense except that the writers tried to force a lot of comedy but failed miserably at it. As the story rushes through a predictable progression that hits all the expected points, it peddles a very cheap Christian message that cannot be respected and feels like it was shoved in so PureFlix would carry it. Essentially, there is nothing original, creative, or worthwhile here, thus warranting no points.
Acting Quality (1 point)
While there is some good here, for the most part, this cast is over the top and awkward. They are painfully lacking coaching as their attempts at being funny and witty completely fall flat. As a bright spot, Jen Lilley continues to outshine otherwise laughable PureFlix casts. It would be interesting to see her in a more upstanding film.
In the end, Turn Around Jake is business as usual for the inspirational film business. Somewhere they keep a database of the very small and limited scope of reusable inspirational plots (we think Hallmark is the gatekeeper of such secrets) and every time a new film makers needs a story they can easily peddle to the masses, they pick one for themselves. Among these plots are the closely related prodigal character plot, the hometown return plot, and the fish-out-of-water plot. Turn Around Jake borrows elements from each of these conventions and mixes them into its own awkward comedy style. Anything that involves all of these elements is probably doomed from the start. How about trying something original?
Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points