Running time: 115 minutes
Writtien by: Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick
Directed by: Alex Kendrick
Featuring: Alex Kendrick, Priscilla Shirer, Shari Rigby, Jack Sterner, Cameron Arnett and Aryn Wright-Thompson
Thomas Hill: “For someone who knows the Lord, you’re acting like somebody who doesn’t. Which makes me wonder: what have you allowed to define you? When you lost your team, it didn’t just disappoint you, it devastated you. Something, or someone, will have first place in your heart. But when you find your identity in the One Who created you, it’ll change your whole perspective.”
Released recently on DVD is the very Christian themed movie “Overcomer” (2019) that covers many of the plot points and themes that are present any many other religious movies, which I suppose is a comfort for fans of this type of movie, but for others it is just more of a turn off.
“Overcomer” is based around John Harrison (Alex Kendrick) who is a basketball coach at a high school. Due to the closure of businesses in the city and the departure of several families, he agrees to be the running coach for Hannah Scott (Aryn Wright-Thompson) who is asthmatic. Hannah’s sporting journey will be accompanied by a self-discovery that will answer a question that has been a concern for her for a long time.
The main issue is that while there is a plot and a narrative within this movie it is far too preachy as well as far to embraced within in its own religion to offer anything coherent or jingoistic, as I said it has an audience and they know who they are, implicitly. How this happens is not just interesting but it also speaks to the wider issue that rages within this genre.
Interestingly, this movie starts off promisingly with a couple of plot strands that could stand on their own, which they do for the first half of the movie but they are all pushed aside once the sermonising begins and jettisons anything that does not feed the thought that religion is the answer and if it isn’t then it should be, it becomes mono-pluralistic which jobs this movie of any reason to view unless you believe in the message which never lets up.
There is no doubt that the Christian movie genre has an audience, maybe because it never challenges a status quo that many, including the audience is happy with, but I need to watch movies that entertain, challenge and offer other points of view which this genre never does. It offers only answers in religion, if you don’t want to accept that then these movies, this one included is not for you.