Guest / Limited Access /
The Wager
Our Rating
½ Stars - Poor
Average Rating
 
(3 user ratings)ADD YOURSHelp
Mpaa Rating
Not Rated (for some violence and action)
Directed By
Judson Pearce Morgan
Run Time
1 hour 22 minutes
Cast
Randy Travis, Jude Ciccolella, Nancy Stafford, Nancy Valen
Theatre Release
June 15, 2007 by Outreach Cinema/PureFlix Entertainment

Quite simply, and across the board, The Wager is not a good film. But as a "Christian" film, with its low budget and artistic limitations, it at least gives a good try, even if it does ultimately fail to rise above the all-too-familiar ghetto of "faith-based" cinema.

Let's start with one of the better things about The Wager—its distribution plan. Outreach Cinema is distributing the film directly to churches, beginning December 31. Outreach provides a "turnkey feature film experience" for churches, allowing a congregation to purchase a $299 package that includes a licensed copy of the DVD, a variety of promotional materials, and a three-month license to screen the film an unlimited number of times. The package also includes 15 extra DVD copies of the film which can be sold at the church's discretion for profit; if the church sells all 15 at $20 each, they can recoup the $299 cost. For a company that focuses on faith-based movies that are "safe" for a family audience, such a do-it-yourself strategy that taps the target market in churches makes pretty good sense.

It's a shame, then, that the latest film to use this approach is such a disappointment. It doesn't help that the main conceit of the film is that country music superstar Randy Travis plays an actor (named Michael Steele) who is up for Best Actor at the upcoming Academy Awards. Seriously? It is taken for granted from the outset that Steele is on par with a Clint Eastwood or Tom Hanks, but the film never comes close to convincing us that he is, or ever was, a good actor. It's a classic example of trying to make something so by telling us, even while the film at large is showing us something completely contrary—i.e., that Steele, or Travis-as-Steele, can't ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Tags:
Browse All Movie Reviews By:
Read These NextSee Our Latest
TrendingFive Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
Five Errors to Drop From Your Easter Sermon
If you want to help people see Holy Week with fresh eyes, start by dropping these familiar fallacies.
Editor's PickYou Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
You Probably Love (or Hate) 'Heaven Is For Real' for All the Wrong Reasons
It's not a travel guide. And Colton Burpo isn't the first Christian to have an ecstatic experience.
Leave a Comment

Use your Christianity Today login to leave a comment on this article. Not part of the community? Subscribe now, or register for a free account.

hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

December 2007

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.