Craig Shergold was a healthy eight-year-old boy until he began having mysterious headaches. The doctors ran tests and found that Craig had a brain tumor, so Craig’s parents immediately began taking steps to combat the disease inside their son’s body. As they walk on the journey together, Craig’s mother continually has premonitions and visions about her son’s future. Craig also receives millions of get-well cards, prompting media attention to his story and talks of a world record. Could it be that the cards are instrumental in Craig’s healing?
Production Quality (1 point)
Unfortunately, as an early 2000s made-for-television production, The Miracle of the Cards is not what it’s cracked up to be. Video quality is relatively cheap-looking, although camera work is fine. Audio quality is also fine, except there is a cheesy stereotypical soundtrack to go with it. Sets, locations, and props are decent enough. There are one too many cheesy special effects that attempt to go with the ‘magical’ themes of this film. Finally, the editing is quite choppy as time skips around to hit the high points—in doing this, the audience is left confused. In the end, not enough time was spent on this production to make the movie worth it.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
As previously mentioned, there is not very much plot content in The Miracle of the Cards as time travels too quickly, thus leaving characters underdeveloped. Dialogue only serves to report what is happening as time spends by—in doing so, the characters are left shallow and one-dimensional. Though this is a true story, it is seemingly based on too many coincidences; a sense of realism is missing from this plot, especially considering the number of childish magical and sensational elements. The presence of these elements is frustrating because it’s hard to take this movie seriously when they are there. Unfortunately, they weaken and cheapen the Christian message that is included in it. In the end, at least this film is based on a true story (its only redeeming quality in this category), but it’s hard to see that there were any motives behind this film except making money on an easy-to-market television movie.
Acting Quality (2 points)
With a professional cast (even though it includes Kirk Cameron), the acting is by far this film’s strongest suit and keeps it from being left in the basement of Christian film. There are few errors here pertaining to emotional and line delivery. This just goes to show you that a good cast with good coaching can make all the difference in your movie.
What is one to do with kids-with-cancer films? They are easy to get people to watch, especially if they’re on TV. But despite true stories behind them, their plots are still formulaic and predictable. Just because you use a real idea doesn’t mean you need to ignore character development. Without realistic characters, the realism of the story is undermined. In the end, many will view this film as fine, and it’s definitely not one of those embarrassing films, but we still feel it could have been better.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points