Monday, December 19, 2011
The Grace Card
Folks, this film looks amazing. It’s been reported that The Grace Card was made with a paltry $200,000 budget by a first-time director, David G. Evans, whose day job is a full-time Optometrist. Evans followed the playbook from the producers who made Fireproof and Courageous. He mixed a professional crew along with volunteers to keep the budget in check; however, he was wise to bring in veteran Hollywood screenwriter Howard Klausner (Space Cowboys) to write the script. Believe me; it made all the difference in the world.
The Grace Card tells the story of patrolman Mac McDonald (Michael Joiner), who lost his first-born son in a tragic accident due to a drug deal gone bad. Seventeen years later, Mac is still trying to put his life back together. He has an enormous attitude problem at home and at work and has been repeatedly passed over for promotion. On the home front, his relationship with his teenage son is deteriorating. In fact, all of his relationships are in a state of decay. I’m not sure Mac sees any point in living. He’s merely going through the motions.
Sam is struggling with coming to terms with whether or not he wants to be a full-time pastor or a life-time career police officer. But his real struggle is how does he lives out his Christian values and extend grace to someone who clearly dislikes him? Adding a word of wisdom and counsel is the Reverend George Wright played by Academy Award-winning actor Louis Gossett, Jr. who is Sam’s grandfather. Rev. George helps steer Sam onto the right path by sharing a story about Sam’s great, great grandfather.
The Grace Card is set against the backdrop of inner city Memphis with its racial strife and division. Cleverly, the movie makes a point that instead of playing the race card, perhaps the way we can heal our differences is to play the grace card. As I said earlier, The Grace Card is not perfect by any means. The ending is a bit simplistic and, frankly, not plausible. In the real world, it’s unlikely that everything can be wrapped up into a neat package.