Hope in New Hope
Mike Evans (Samuel Davis) is not over the moon about moving to a new town during his senior year, but as the son of a preacher he has to accept the family has to go where the calling takes his father and this time it is to the town of New Hope. But being a senior and the new kid in school is not the only difficulty facing Mike as a year earlier the star basketball player Chase Green committed suicide and it affected many in the town deeply, especially Chase's brother Lucas (Ben Davies) who is angry and sees Mike as someone who is trying to take his brother's place especially when he joins the basketball team and gets close to Jasmine (Perry Frost) who had been Chase's longtime girlfriend.
Top of my agenda is defining what "New Hope" is as whilst it is Christian cinema, a faith based movie I ask is it an envangelistic movie or a movie made as entertainment for Christians who don't want to watch movies full of swearing, sex and violence. Well it is again entertainment for those who are already Christians, morally wholesome entertainment which parents don't have to worry about their teenage children watching. As such "New Hope" doesn't have the grit or realism of mainstream cinema and typical of the faith based genre has a lower production standard with frequent bouts of what feels like awkward directing, acting and editing. I say this purely to paint a picture of what to expect from "New Hope" as a production.
Now whilst I always prefer to watch a polished movie with a good standard of production and acting it isn't the be all and end all of a movie especially faith based movies and so we have the storyline. Now the movie is caled New Hope, the town is called New Hope and as such it is pretty obvious how this movie is going to play out with the focus on Mike facing some difficulties as he tries to fit in but being a channel for God to work in the troubled lives of those in the school especially Lucas and Jasmine who has become a bit of a loner since the death of Chase. And it is an okay movie which focuses on God using people to help others although I doubt that will cut too much mustard for anyone who stumbled across this thinking it was a basketball movie.
There isn't a lot else to say other than "New Hope" has potential and having watched quite a few faith based movies this is one which I know that with more money, a bit more refining of the dialogue and so on could have competed with mainstream cinema as the basic story is good. And every now and then it hits the sweet spot with a scene which draws you and keeps your attention especially some of the basketball scenes. In fact "New Hope" would have worked well as a TV series a sort of "One Tree Hill" for a Christian audience.
What this all boils down to is that is "New Hope" is a solid movie made for an already Christian audience and a teenage age one at that with its story of struggling to fit in but also being the channel for God's work. But it does suffer sadly from all those issues which you come to expect from a faith based movie.