Jay Austin is a typical used car salesman: dishonest and unashamed of it. He will do anything to make good margins, including cheat old women and lie outright about the quality of his vehicles. However, his financial situation is not what he wants it to be, as he is at risk of losing his business to foreclosure. He calls himself a Christian, but he does not feel conviction for his actions until one day, when he is desperate, he happens upon a television sermon that pricks his conscience regarding his common business practices. In order to receive God’s favor, Jay turns his philosophy around and begins to build a reputation of integrity for himself. This causes him to part ways with some of his salesmen, who learned Jay’s former dishonest ways. On the brink of losing his business, Jay cries out to God and obeys His prompting to return money he cheated out of people. Following this, a miracle occurs when Jay sells nearly every car on his lot on the day his bill is due at the bank. It was that day that Jay truly learned what it meant to serve God in all areas of his life.
Production Quality (.5 point)
Anyone who knows anything about the Kendricks knows that Flywheel is not their best movie by far. The camera work is very poor, as is the editing. Sometimes the video is hard to make out and there are frequent background noises that disrupt viewing. Camera angles are not the best. There are quite a few lighting issues. While this looks like an overall cheap production, first time film makers get a break on production quality, especially if the budget is tight.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
The plot of the inaugural Kendrick film is not bad, but it could be better. It showcases the beginnings of the trademark Kendrick non-linear plot style, but not to its full potential. Most of the characters are stereotypical and the dialogue is un-compelling. There is really nothing dynamic here except for some brief comedy scenes that hold the attention. The ending is fairly predictable, but Kendricks do a pretty good job at driving home the parable narrative. They showed great potential, even early on.
Acting Quality (1 point)
The poor acting can be excused by not only the early stages of Kendrick productions, but also the fact that this movie is made of entirely inexperienced or semi-experienced actors. While many of the actors are seemingly down to earth and realistic in some respects, they are not up to par with high quality productions. Thankfully, Kendrick movies did not remain on the level of Flywheel.
In the end, Flywheel shows a lot of raw talent, initiative, and want-to. The production is raw and honest. The plot is semi-complex and the actors are close to home. However, it is not enough to warrant a re-watch. Flywheel will forever serve as a reminder of how blockbuster moviemakers get started.
Final Rating: 2.5 out of 10 points