This is the story of two pastors, both of whom worship the same God, both of whom are dedicated Christians, devoted to their religion. However, the similarity between them ends there. The first, Ethan, is well off and privileged, working in a major media conscious church Jake is an African American preaching on the streets and ministering to the low life’s and unfortunates who fall under his wing. When the to are thrown together in a tough part of town, they first have to overcome their own prejudices towards each pother. Their salvation must at the end of the day, lie in the strength of their faith…
For an overtly Christian film, with all the associations of badly made fairly preachy and at times simply intolerable “holier than thou” ness, “The second Chance” is remarkably good. It doesn’t have any inherent preachiness in it’s script, just a simple and effective tale of the deep divisions that lie between the various incarnations of the Church in America. Racial and class separation conspire to keep the faith divided and the simple message of the film is that there is only the one faith and neither race nor social standing should preclude anyone from being accepted into it equally. It’s a nice thought.
The main and supporting characters are all richly written and performed, Ethan is a slightly cocky pushy type while ensconced in the safety of his affluent church, but once sent as something of a punishment for his arrogance to Jaske’s downtown ministry, he is completely out of his comfort zone. Both singer Michael W Smith and jeff obafemi carr (he prefers lower case letters) are new to movie acting and considering this they do extremely well, making both characters rounded and real, neatly illustrating the differences and similarities between them. Not all of the supporting cast are up to their standards and those scenes are comparatively lifeless.
Director Steve Taylor has created a movie that definitely has power behind it although the first half is somewhat overblown and could have benefited from another pass on the editing table and the narrative becomes disjointed in places though is soon picked up again and there is a nice balance between light and shade with several really funny moments. In all it’s not perfect but it’s entertaining and tells an engaging story well, making it’s point without resorting to sledgehammer tactics. Worth a look.