Grab some soda and popcorn, because the Kendrick brothers are at it again. This Friday, August 23, they officially release their sixth movie, Overcomer, to cinemas in North America. I had the pleasure of screening this movie as part of the Christian Worldview Film Festival held in Franklin, Tennessee, in mid-March.
When Overcomer begins, you may feel like you’re being treated to a remake of the Kendricks’ breakout movie, Facing the Giants (2006). Alex Kendrick reclaims his coach’s whistle in time for his prize athletes to transfer from the Christian school where he coaches and teaches, setting the stage for moviegoers to be run through the emotional ringer with another sports long shot. Patricia Shirer (War Room, 2015) returns to set to play the role of the school principal. Shari Rigby (October Baby, 2011) stars as the coach’s supportive wife and Cameron Arnett (Meet the Browns, 2009-2011) as a wise new acquaintance performing his role entirely from a hospital bed.
If there’s one thing the Kendricks have mastered, it’s moving an audience. It’s what they do – with both story and cinematic effect. In Overcomer, they accomplish this feat with a storyline that encourages their audience to pull for the underdog, to believe what we would all like to believe – that anything is possible, and to savor moments when biblical values such as obedience, redemption, and perseverance bear fruit. This movie delivers a heart reaction even better than their prior releases, with a crescendoing effect in the movie’s pivotal action scene as well as its dramatic climax. The production quality of Kendrick Brothers films continues to improve with increasing budgets. Kudos to them on the clever use of a drone to drop viewers into the action of the first scene.
The hallmark of Kendrick flicks resonates once again. They deal with another important facet of spirituality and season it with humor, fun, and a feel-good story. This time, they tackle identity, encouraging believers to embrace what the Bible, specifically Ephesians 1-2, has to say about how God views them.
Expect some oversimplification of certain spiritual concepts in this movie as well as a jet-ski ride over some major plot events. Nevertheless, you’ll leave the theater with a smile on your face and find the experience well worth the price of admission. Squeaky clean, wholesome, emotive, redeeming, and four stars.
You can view the trailer to Overcomer on Youtube at this link.