´╗┐ Johnny (2010) Jerry Phillips, Musetta Vander, Lonnie Colˇn, Leslie L. Miller Movie Review

Johnny (2010)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Jerry Phillips in Johnny (2010)

Saving Lives

10 year old Johnny (Jerry Phillips) not only has no family but he has leukaemia and he is probably going to die from it. But Johnny has a strong belief in God and trusts that he is looking out for him, refusing to let his prognosis get him down. It is not just Johnny's belief in God which impresses Doctor Carter (Mel Fair) but his positivity and decides to give him home. It is a decision which his wife is not happy about as two years earlier their son died and she still can't move on from the loss. But Johnny's spirit inspires others from the bully at school to actually helping the Carter family deal with their issues.

In "Johnny" there is a scene where the day after being bullied at school Johnny gets up and gives a speech in class about God, shortly after that the bully comes up to Johnny in the playground and tells him that took guts. On paper it sounds a great scene; you have a child who has great faith and his words reach others except the strength of the scene and the power of the words is lost because it feels forced. Now you could say well it is to be excused because it is a scene involving child actors but sadly it happens through out the movie with every scene which revolves around the power of God and spreading his word coming across as forced and something which I hate, too preachy.

And that really annoys me because "Johnny" could have been an incredibly powerful movie which could work for a non Christian audience who can connect with the sick child storyline but that forced preachy side sadly wrecks the movie for anyone who isn't a Christian. In fact I criticised the acting earlier but the one actor who excels in this movie is young Jerry Phillips who delivers such spirit and optimism that it is his performance which keeps you watching even through the scenes where everything feels forced.

What this all boils down to is that truthfully "Johnny" is a movie for a Christian audience who will find the positivity and faith of Johnny encouraging. But for me this was a missed opportunity to deliver a movie which would work for non Christian audiences but sadly the forcing of the message makes it too preachy.