Imagine being a high school basketball coach, with expectations of a championship season. Then, due to economic upheaval, almost your whole team moves away.
You are re-assigned to coach track and field, a team that consists of one asthmatic runner. What do you do?
Such is the premise of Overcomer, the latest film from the Kendrick brothers, the duo behind films such as Fireproof, Courageous and War Room. The movie hits theatres today.
The Kendricks make films in which the central character faces a challenge. The filmmakers hope the audience identifies with him/her and works with them to find a solution. Along the way there is a Christian message presented.
Overcomer is an exploration of identity. Who are you? Who am I? Where do we find our value? All good questions to be asking.
I had mixed feelings about this film, more because of what it is not than what it is. I found it to be entertaining, even if you can see the plot twists coming well in advance. It should do well at the box office – everyone likes a feel-good story.
My mixed feelings come from wondering who the target audience is. The Kendricks are Christians, and their films reflect their faith. That is a positive thing. The stories they told were universal – you didn’t have to be a Christian to identify with the characters and sympathize with their struggle.
With 2015’s War Room though, I felt there was a shift away from making films for a general audience. I thought that movie would appeal mostly to Christians. I think the same holds true of Overcomer which is set in a Christian school. All the characters are Christian. Even in the US that seems a little strange to me. I’m not sure how accessible the film is to those who don’t yet believe.
So if you aren’t a believer, why not check this one out. I’d like your feedback. If you are a Christian you’ll enjoy this film.
In real life, were a high school basketball team to lose its players there would be others coming forward. Shorter and less-skilled perhaps, but there would be players to step into the gap. But that would have made for a different movie. There would be no championship season, but it would be a character-building experience for all concerned. Maybe the Kendrick brothers will make that film next.