Matthew Peyton has tried to keep his father’s struggling factory afloat, but with the unions bearing down his neck and the economy tanking in the small town he lives in, it may be too late for him, even with Christmas just around the corner. One night, when Matthew is attacked by angry workers, he is left for dead yet tended by a community of homeless people he never knew existed in the city. They change his outlook on life and give him a new hope for the holidays that he thought he had lost.
Production Quality (2 points)
As a modern production, Believe is mostly high quality and professional. Video quality is great, and camera work is good except for some unnecessarily odd camera zooms at dramatic moments. Audio quality is good, however, as is the soundtrack. Sets, locations, and props are realistic and appropriate for the film. However, there are some confusing special effects throughout, and the editing is generally disorienting as time goes back and forth without warning. Nevertheless, it is clear that this production team wanted to make a good film, so they mostly succeeded on this front.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Believe is one of the most complex yet disorganized Christmas plots I have ever witnessed. It begins with unusual apocalypse undertones that depict a small town falling apart almost like a disaster film. There is a lot of information dump dialogue to ‘catch the audience up,’ yet a lot of it is politically charged and agenda-driven. At first, the drama seems manufactured as characters are seemingly swept along in uncontrollable circumstances like stand-ins for plot devices. The story is also heavily centered around a stereotypical Christmas pageant that can save everything. The protagonist is hated by almost everybody, which is another premise that seems very forced. However, the plot pulls itself out of the nosedive in the middle as some really interesting issues and ideas are brought to light in what could have been a very unique and creative Christmas film. However, the sheer number of ideas packed into this film cripples its influence, especially since the storyline returns to predictability and extremely quick problem-fixing and conflict-resolving for the final sequences. Regardless, there is a lot of potential here that could be reworked into a different film. The complexity at least keeps the viewer interested.
Acting Quality (2 points)
For the most part, this cast is professional and well-coached. There are some moments when they are too practiced and forced in their emotions and line delivery, but this is not enough to derail the positive efforts. On the whole, like other parts of this film, this casting and acting is what is needs to be to keep things interesting.
Many audiences will likely enjoy Believe, and it’s not really that bad of a movie. But it needs some serious reorganization, along with a final sequence rework. Too much is trying to be accomplished in this film, but we can never fault wanting to handle a lot of content when most films—especially holiday ones—suffer for any shred of substantial content. Still, it would be interesting to see a remake of this film because there is definitely tons of potential here.
Final Rating: 5 out of 10 points