Seth McArdle didn’t ask for his mother to die or his no-account father to leave him to take care of his two younger sisters. Despite his pleas, Seth’s brother refuses to help him or have anything to do with him. Therefore, Seth must attempt to successfully complete high school instead of drop out like his father did, and hold down two jobs in order to barely support him and his sisters. What’s more, the football coach and his quarterback son both hate Seth’s family, prompting Seth into a fight that lands him with a third unpaid job working under an eccentric maintenance worker named Abel. With the bank calling to collect on the overdue house payments, Seth feels like his whole world is crashing down around him. He must either choose to ask for help or resort to desperate measures.
Production Quality (3 points)
For a little known production, Abel’s Field puts many independent Christian films to shame. The video quality is professional, and the camera work is also good, including great sports action scenes. The sets, locations, and props are also well-placed and well-utilized. It seems like a lot of time and effort was put into this slightly obscure film, even though the budget was not as much as some films that are much worse than it. The editing is effective and artistic, and this production is overall a surprisingly error-free one, which is something we definitely need to see more of.
Plot and Storyline Quality (1 point)
Abel’s Field is a very unique character-driven biopic that conceals key twists and character motives until the right moments. While many portions of it are fairly slow and may not hold the attention very well, the storyline patiently unfolds through subtlety and good dialogue. It’s actually rare to see this type of dialogue in a film like this one, even though some efforts could have been made to hold audience attention slightly better. However, the characters are still accessible as people, and their struggles can be related to. The latter half of the film is better than the first, and the ending has several interesting twists and turns that make for an enjoyable experience, even if the plot is not as good as it could have been. It’s a nice, simple film with a good message.
Acting Quality (3 points)
This movie is both cast well and acted well. Kevin Sorbo manifests arguably his best role in playing a character that suits his acting strengths. Samuel Davis is excellent, as are the supporting actors. It would have been easy for the acting to have been bland and wooden, but this is not the case. Emotions are realistic, and line delivery is on point. Thus, there are no negative acting elements.
With a better budget and a smidgen more time spent on the plot, Abel’s Field could have been higher rated than this. However, this movie is a testament to the fact that it is possible to make a quality film with only a limited budget. The plot is does just enough to be interesting, and it is filled with realistic characters living out realistic lives. Abel’s Field fulfills the formula of great production and great acting combined with a plot that does just enough, so it will be interesting to see what this creative team produces next.
Final Rating: 7 out of 10 points