review Bobby Blakey
I am always hesitant to get my expectations too high on faith based films for the simple fact that most of them are kind of cheap and not all that good. Thankfully they usually have a good message to carry it through, but that is about it. The latest, The Shack starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell, and Graham Greene brings to life the controversial book, but does it manage to capture the message worth witnessing or will it make you lose faith?
The Shack follows a man named Mack receives a letter and suspects it is from God, asking him to return to The Shack where his young daughter may have been murdered. After contemplating it, he leaves his home to go to The Shack for the first time since Missy's abduction and an encounter that will change his life forever. The trailers never really worked for me since it seemed like it was two separate movies slapped together, but I entered this one hoping I would be pleasantly surprised. I love the cast and the idea to what it was doing, but in the end it was just boring. The trailers were a bit misleading as it does have a straight continuity to the story that works fine and I even dug the ideals they put forward when representing the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, especially the casting. Sadly, they have a good message and story to work from here that never really manages to engage enough to feel much.
I am not sure if it is something to do with the actual story from the book or something that happened with transitioning it to the big screen, but it moves at such a snail’s pace with so much predictability and nothing really ever happening that it is a fight to really get invested. If it hadn’t been for the good performances from the cast it would have been unwatchable as a whole. Visually it is beautiful throughout making its surroundings play an important part in trying to set a tone, but not enough to make this film do much else.
In the end I wanted this film to really turn me around using its message and while it is a good one, it fails to really pull you in. The controversy around this story is a bit unfounded in my opinion as there is never really anything here that goes against scripture, but of course everyone interprets it in their own way hence so many opinions and ideals in the world. For those that love the book you may enjoy this more as well as those that tend to buy into every Dove approved film, but I for one felt let down by what should have been a really powerful film.
Join the search for faith and answers for yourself and grab your copy of The Shack available now on Blu-ray and DVD from Summit Home Entertainment.