When a homeless man comes to the town of Raymond and does not find that the Christians there do not practice what they preach, he interrupts a church service to tell them just that. But when he collapses in the middle of his speech, he spurs some on to action. Though he dies, five church members commit to changing their ways and beginning to live their lives as Jesus did rather than as Christians in name only. However, their decision is hard than they first thought.
Production Quality (.5 point)
While money was spent on the ‘surface’ of production, that is, camera work and video quality, the beauty is only skin deep, so to speak. Sets and locations are average, and the lighting therein is inconsistent. Also, some outside scenes have quite loud background noises and there is a loud stock soundtrack that covers up far too much dialogue. There was basically no editing present—pretty much all content was included to make the film long enough, including filler scenes. Essentially, In His Steps is a generic bad production.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Based on the famous novel by Charles Sheldon, this film unfortunately ruins the book’s original idea and alters the original plot for convenience. The storyline is very slow and melancholy and struggles to hold the attention. The characters begin as empty but quickly progress to annoying as they try to become better Christians. This is such a travesty because it doesn’t make anyone want to be stronger in their faith, but rather may turn some off. After their recommitment, the Christians in this film become legalistic, forceful, and sometimes offensive, while those who oppose them are laughable. Because of this dichotomy, there is far too much unintentional comedy that ensues, thus making a mockery of the novel’s original intent. In short, though there is some potential here, this plot is mostly a disaster.
Acting Quality (0 points)
This moderate cast appears to be overly practiced in their line delivery and they come off as stiff and wooden. Also, their emotional delivery is awkward and sometimes over the top. Makeup is not a strong suit either. While it seems like this cast had potential, they did not reach it.
Like eerily similar films What Would Jesus Do? and Do You Believe?, In His Steps carries an important message about Christians truly living out their faith. However, this message gets lost in translation as audiences cannot ignore poor production quality, a vanilla plot, and obnoxious acting. Why do movies like this have to be packaged this way? It’s so disappointing to review one movie after another that all commit the same old mistakes. We plead with Christian film makers to get second and third opinions on their works before releasing them—this will do a world of good.
Final Rating: 1 out of 10 points