As the mysterious drifter comes to another small town, he encounters another pastor who desperately wants to change the world around him but cannot seem to assemble the team he needs. As he takes his brother in, who is freshly out of prison, the pastor seeks to do good to those around him and to repair the broken church bell he inherited. He also comes into contact with a group of troubled teens who seem intent on making everyone around them miserable. But what they will all discover is that there is more to everyone’s story than other realize, and that all Christians should act as Jesus would act.
Production Quality (.5 point)
If it’s any consolation, the camera work is better in The Journey Continues. However, the video quality has not improved, and there are many scenes in which lighting is a major problem. Audio quality is inconsistent and the soundtrack is as silly as usual. The sets and locations are okay and slightly more realistic than in the first film, but they still carry an amateur quality. In a similar vein, the editing is not glaringly horrible, but it’s not particularly professional either. Scenes are sometimes cut off abruptly while other scenes seem to drag on too long. In short, the production of The Journey Continues does not commit egregious errors, but it also does nothing to promote professionalism.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
In many ways, The Journey Continues is just a redux of the first WWJD film, just with fewer characters. John Schneider is still a drifter who spouts wisdom to those in need of it. There’s a different struggling pastor who wants to make a difference in his city. There’s other troublemaking characters who change their ways in the end. The Journey Continues is slightly more concise in its delivery, but still not very compelling. The premise is less absurd and the ideas are less obvious, but that doesn’t make it an interesting plot. The characters are slightly accessible and not so outrageously stereotypical, but this doesn’t make the movie a winner. Dialogue is sometimes strained, like the writers are searching for something interesting to have the characters say. The issues presented are smile-worthy, but not terribly compelling. One particular subplot is intriguing and keeps this portion from being zero points; it would have been nice to see this subplot expanded upon and given more thought. Overall, the plot feels more down to earth than the first installment, but it’s still not very watchable.
Acting Quality (.5 point)
In the first film, it was John Schneider and a bunch of poorly coached amateur actors and actresses. In the second film, it’s John Schneider and some slightly better coached actors and actresses. However, the same issues as before tend to trip them up: strained line delivery and either muted or overdone emotional delivery. There is some better acting than not that keeps the score above water, but once again, there is just not much good to say here.
There really isn’t that much to work with here. The Journey Continues feels like a sequel for the sake of sequels. It would be one thing if this were the first movie in the series, but since it’s boring and empty compared to laughable, it easily gets lost in the shuffle and really comes out no better for it. Whatever the WWJD Trilogy is trying to accomplish is beyond us, but it certainly does plenty to further hurt the name of Christian film. When it boils down to it, there is really no purpose to either of the first two films in this trilogy—unfortunately, neither one is going to reach anyone, Christian or non-Christian, due to low quality. Wouldn’t it have been better to, instead of make three films, pool financial resources to make one truly great film that could have made a lasting difference? These are the types of questions Christian film makers need to ask themselves before charging ahead with more low quality films that waste everyone’s time.
Final Rating: 1.5 out of 10 points