THE SECOND CHANCE
Dramatic and Uplifting
Release Date: February 17, 2006
Starring: Michael W. Smith, Jeff Obafemi
Carr, J. Don Ferguson,
Audience: Older children to adults
Distributor: Sony Pictures
Director: Steve Taylor
Executive Producer: Ben Howard and Michael Hagerty
Producer: Steve Taylor, Clarke Gallivan
and Coke Sams
Writer: Steve Taylor, Chip Arnold and
Address Comments To:Michael Lynton, Chairman/CEO
Amy Pascal, Chairman - Motion Picture Group
Sony Pictures Entertainment
10202 West Washington Blvd.
Culver City, CA 90232-3195
Phone: (310) 244-4000
Fax: (310) 244-2626
Web Page: www.spe.sony.com/
Smith plays Ethan Jenkins, the son of a successful televangelist, Jeremiah Jenkins, played by J. Don Ferguson. The movie opens with Ethan and Jeremiah making a photo op at the soup kitchen of an inner city church, Second Chance Community Church. Jeremiah founded the church amid the turbulence of the civil rights demonstrations in the sixties. He has since moved from the inner city to the suburbs where he founded The Rock, which is now a mega church where community service often takes the form of large donations to the collection plate. Jeremiah now travels the world establishing new churches, but he's lost sight of the place where his journey as pastor began.
The pastor of Second Chance, Jake Sanders, played by newcomer Jeff Obafemi Carr, is a loose cannon. During a visit by Jake one Sunday to The Rock, Ethan invites Jake to say something to the congregation. Jake upsets the congregation by telling them their donations helping Second Chance to minister to the poor are okay, but he doesn’t want their money because they don’t come down to his church to help out or even to visit. Angry with Ethan, the church board decides he needs to take a little sabbatical and help Jake at Second Chance.
Sparks fly from day one when Jake takes Ethan on a tour of the neighborhood. Jake resents Ethan’s father’s move to the suburbs, and Ethan has trouble relating to Jake. The youth pastor from Second Chance takes a beating to protect a young man who wants to leave a gang. This causes Ethan to question his own courage and the depth of his Christian convictions. When he and Jake discover Jeremiah’s new plans for Second Chance, it takes a lot of courage and bridge building to set things right between them.
THE SECOND CHANCE is a heartfelt Christian drama. It is a compelling call to Christians to live out their faith in word and deed. The ending is dramatic, uplifting and encouraging.
Michael W. Smith effectively uses his natural charisma as Ethan, but the real find here is Jeff Obafemi Carr, who plays Pastor Jake with plenty of passion. Both Smith and Carr can have satisfying careers in movies and/or television, if that is their calling.
The script for THE SECOND CHANCE could still use a little more energy. And, there were times when the camerawork and the editing led to some minor confusion where the viewer couldn’t tell exactly what was happening.
The movie also contains eight light obscenities. There are also references to gang activity and drug dealing in the inner city (viewers see a man in a car pick up some drugs) that earned the movie a PG-13 rating. These references are very light, however, not at all like the gritty and profane urban thrillers that normally flow from Hollywood. Still, they require caution for younger children.
Moviegoers, including Christians of all denominations, should support THE SECOND CHANCE if they want Hollywood to produce more positive movies with explicit Christian content. If you don’t come to see movies like THE SECOND CHANCE, Hollywood won’t make any more of them.
THE SECOND CHANCE is a heartfelt Christian drama. It is a compelling call to Christians to live out their faith in word and deed. Michael W. Smith effectively uses his natural charisma as Ethan, but the real find here is Jeff Obafemi Carr, who plays Pastor Jake with plenty of passion. The movie contains eight light obscenities. There are also some light references to gang activity and drug dealing in the inner city. So caution for younger children is advised.