Thursday, August 16, 2007

Movie Recommendation: Flywheel

This movie is from the same production house that brought us Facing the Giants, Sherwood Pictures. The movie casts Alex Kendrick, who played Coach Grant Taylor in Facing the Giants, as Jay Austin, a slick talking used car salesman who cannot turn an honest deal. He falls prey to his own deception and eventually cannot stand to even look at himself in the mirror. Ostracizing his co-workers, his wife, and lamentably his son, a turning point must eventually come and it does.

While having a classic Triumph convertible repaired, Jay becomes disgusted with himself and embarks on a journey of confession, heart-felt repentance, shame, and reconciliation. The movie has a powerful message of the transforming and life-giving power of the Gospel. Kendrick is believable as the distant, self-centered husband; almost too believable. He verbally berates his wife, ignores his son, yet his staff pseudo-respects him because he has taught them how to line their pockets with dishonest money. The turning point comes in a gripping scene where he rips his pastor off and the pastor prays with Jay before he leaves the lot. "Lord, I ask you to treat Jay the same way he has treated me in this deal."

Jay enters a spiral of self-abnegation that climaxes in a happy ending for all. Two thumbs up for the feel-good aspect of this movie! Unfortunately, as well as things turn out for Jay's family, things almost turn out too good. The climax is highly romanticized, everything perfectly orchestrated to save Jay's hide. I found the same weakness in Facing the Giants, almost a sense of entitlement that since NOW the lead characters are faithful, God will bless. It seemed to be a veiled prosperity message, that God blesses contingent upon the amount of faith you exercise. Nevertheless, Flywheel has some particularly funny scenes and the reconciliation between he and his wife was powerful, bringing tears to our eyes.

Sherwood Pictures turns out quality films on a low budget and the Christ-centered, believable, ordinary stories more than compensate for the poor acting on account of some. The film is unrated and has no questionable elements that would hinder you from watching with young children.

Image courtesy of Christian Cinema.


Gordon Cloud said...

I've seen this movie a couple of times. As funny as it sounds (I love football), I actually liked "Flywheel" better than I did "Facing the Giants".

Tony said...

It really is a good movie; a nice change from the standard Hollywood fare (though I admit, I love a blockbuster action movie). My favorite Christian movie to date though is The Last Sin Eater. I blogged on it back in June here . I have yet to see a movie with a clearer presentation of the Gospel than that one.

selahV said...

Tony, I saw this film in our church. It was good. I hope in time we will have more and more of them. selahV

Tony said...


There are some outstanding Christian films out there. I am looking forward to Sherwood's next film, Fireproof, about a firefighter with a troubled marriage. That is all I know about it right now. I would recommend The Last Sin Eater to you as well!