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Have Cheetah,Will Review #19 – “Taken By Grace”

It is 8:40 pm

I have been watching as of late the recent surge of the weirdest marriage yet in movie,mainstream Hollywood and the so called Christian movement in making “faith based” films.
I recall a few years while channel surfing,I happened on movie on a Christian cable channel. Where I was expecting to see another shuckster trying to bilk more senior citizens out of their hard earned cash,it turned it I was watching a movie called “Flywheel”. I stayed with it because it was very unusual to see a movie like this. While it wasn’t very polished,it had a lot of heart and the (non) actors gave it their all.
Alex Kendrick was the man behind “Flywheel” and when his next two films, “Facing the Giants” and “Fireproof” hit it big,a new genre was born, Faith based movies.
“Taken By Grace” is one of these films and it was released in 2013. What has really changed in the early days of these movies is the casting,no more unknowns are carrying the acting load….established Hollywood stars are now being cast and their names are being used to sell tickets.

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“Taken By Grace” is one of these movies. Directed by first time director Roger Lindley,the story is about Lucas Blackstone being released from prison and deciding to get revenge on the man who killed his son. But he needs a ride and proceeds to kidnap a young couple,Shawn and Carrie Everett, who are trying to overcome their own demons on a weekend camping trip.
After Blackstone gets the couple on their way to Trinity (I know,not subtle,right) so he can get his justice. While the Everett’s are Christian,they find out on the journey that they have a long way to go themselves as they try to stop Blackstone’s mission. And with two detectives hot on the trail,something has to give.

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In listening to the featurette on the DVD,it was pretty amazing to learn this film was conceived,written and filmed in just 34 days! Lindley and his producing partner,Bradley Dorsey did a fine job in that respect.
One of my favorite actors,Angus Macfayden (Braveheart) plays Lucas Blackstone and does a good job,he knows he is one a one way journey after losing his son to a horrific act and he wants justice. And where he mocks Shawn and Carrie for their faith,he grows to respect them as they try to reason with them about forgiveness. Lucas experiences just how much that means and that it’s just not words.

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Haylie Duff and Dorsey play the couple and this is where the movie hits a pothole.
Simply put,they have zero chemistry together,other then one scene where they briefly hold hands,they do not touch each other. You are never convinced they were ever a married couple. Duff looks good but the script has her crying for 75% of her on screen time,a total waste. Dorsey isn’t much a actor,he is wooden and speaks every line in a monotone.
“Taken By Grace” is a bit bumpy and uneven but just like “Flywheel”,its worth taking a look at. Lindley has a deft eye behind the camera and will only get better with each new movie.

The cheetah and I give this a paw/thumbs up.

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