MOVIE REVIEW: “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” stars Brett Dalton (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. [TV series], Lost in Florence), Anjelah Johnson-Reyes (Enough Said, Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel), Neil Flynn (The Middle [TV series], Scrubs [TV series]), D.B. Sweeney (Dinosaur , Taken 2), and Shawn Michaels. It is directed by Dallas Jenkins (What If…, Midnight Clear) and written by Andrea Gyertson Nasfell (Mom’s Night Out, Christmas with a Capital C). Gavin Stone (Dalton), a former child star, has found himself in the dumps since his stardom faded amongst booze and wild parties. One party in particular sends him to jail, facing the penalty of community service. Thinking it is the better option, Gavin chooses janitorial work in a church in his hometown. Little does he know that this mandatory labor leads him to star in the church’s big play as Jesus Christ.
Let’s see, it’s a Christian film produced by WWE Studios…okay, I think I know what I’m getting myself into. I mean, just look at the trailer below; it gives you the entire conflict, theme, and resolution without you having to venture out to the Redbox or Wal-Mart to pick it up. I knew exactly what this feature was, but it’s been a while since I’ve seen something wholesome, so I thought I’d give it a shot. Plus, my family was looking to see a movie together that night; a Christian film would do us good regardless. Although “The Resurrection of Gavin Stone” follows the same patterns and beats as many flicks before it, I will say that I enjoyed watching it. Say what you will, but there is something about the feature that gives it a uniqueness. It may be the performances or the fact that I actually laughed in a few places (typically, Christian films have the worst of jokes). Brett Dalton plays the lead of the movie as well as the lead of the play that the church puts on in the story. I think what initially drew me into this was Dalton, considering how he played a favorite of mine on “Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.” during his stint with the series. He’s a good actor, but mostly for his onscreen charisma; it’s not like I consider him to be Oscar worthy. Everyone else did a relatively decent job and carried the plot for what it was. I could tell that these people believed in the script, being as how it has Christian morals, and they put their all into it. Whether or not that “all” was brilliant acting is left up to the viewer to decide. For a feature that was highly predictable, I considered myself entertained, due to the acting and overall message. Yes, it’s a message we all saw coming, but it was one of heart. It was nice to sit back and see someone come into the arms of Jesus after falling flat on their face instead of some bloated feature containing explosions or running for a change. Dalton made the role believable, and even the direction of the play was pretty cool in itself. I guess what it comes down to when judging this film is whether or not it breaks the mold of your average Christian flick. What you see in this, you’ve seen plenty of times in other movies professions Christian background in some way or another. We all know Dalton’s character will change his ways, no matter how much the writers try to convince you otherwise, and what happens before that moment is essentially character development that follows familiar beats. A bad boy who needs to realize he’s broken takes on the role of Jesus at a church play, transforming himself through the experience not only with his friends but the love interest of the plot. She’s an uptight pastor’s kid, but will she really remain that way if Hollywood has anything to do with it? No. If you are looking for a wholesome feature that is good for the family (and you all are Christian), then you’d appreciate this one, aside from its cheap production value. I had a good time watching this with my folks, and there weren’t that many dull moments in the feature itself. What I really wanted was a plot that was unpredictable and characters that held a bit more depth. However, when it comes to Christian films, I’m lucky enough to get the entertainment I got. So, if you are interested, check this out. It has a lot of heart for being a tiny film, and I applaud them for that. FINAL SCORE: 72%= Burnt Popcorn
Here is the trailer: