Pure Flix’s SONS OF THUNDER: REDEMPTION Tells the Ultimate Gospel Tale of a Sinner Saved by Grace

Pure Flix

Pure Flix’s SONS OF THUNDER: REDEMPTION Tells the Ultimate Gospel Tale of a Sinner Saved by Grace

By Movieguide® Contributor

SONS OF THUNDER: REDEMPTION is the epitome of 2 Corinthians 5:17, that if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.

Season 1 (2022), streaming on PureFlix, shows how Jesus changes people from the inside out. Each six of the half-hour episodes endorses a Christian biblical worldview as the show’s focal character, Jacob Lewis sets out to show and tell his life-changing conversion to Christ, experienced during a Texas prison sentence. Upon his release from prison, and simultaneous escape from his former membership in a notorious motorcycle club, The Devil’s Hand, Jacob rides off to California on his Harley to start a life of this second chance Jesus has given him. First thing on his bucket list? Asking forgiveness and making amends of the person he had emotionally hurt the most before his sentencing, Sandy Harding.

Jacob finds Sandy living and working on a horse boarding and Equestrian events ranch in southern California, owned by her best friend Linda Gibson and her husband Mike Gibson. After receiving a Good Samaritan style helping hand, as well as hearing Jacob’s story, the Gibsons hire Jacob as a much needed ranch hand, only with Sandy’s apprehensive permission.

Turns out Sandy’s reasonable personal concerns are the least of the whole crews’ worries. Locally, almost all the surrounding properties are being scooped up by a bullying, opportunist neighbor, Ethan Walker, who is bound and determined to acquire the Gibson Ranch as well. More perilously yet, The Devil’s Hand does not let anyone leave its membership alive. Club leader Hammer sends assassins to track Jacob down and give him his disloyal due. In fact, one of them, Logan, is an initiate unknown to Jacob that also lands a job at the Gibson Ranch; it’s a script writing marvel that adds sustainable suspense to each episode.

With these characters come strong immoral, anti-biblical, anti-Christian worldviews befitting villains. Rancher Walker will do almost anything to get what he wants, including intimidating local government officials into making sure the Gibson Ranch falls on such hard times that it has to sell. His materialism breeds acquisition idolatry. The Devil’s Hand motorcycle members live by an intentionally immoral, even evil code that severely punishes anyone that gets in their way.

This Pure Flix original production keeps to a surprisingly high content standard. As far as nudity is concerned, muscular males in modest tank tops are as risque as it gets. There is no sexual content depicted or implied; a couple of pecks on cheeks, and a thought-about lip kiss are all we view. Depiction of alcohol and drug use is also kept to a minimum: there is an occasional glass of wine with dinner, depicted as romantic; and a confession of going “down a dark hole” of prescription drug addiction that is ultimately portrayed in negative light.

Though there is no spoken profanity, a caution may be in order for the visuals of tattoos. Such ink is very personal, but it can also be considered a visual symbolic language that various microcultures use for signals. For instance, Jacob’s arm and chest tattoos from his past life no doubt have multiple meanings; but the presence of bullets, a dagger, a serpent, a skull, the Devil’s head (scrubbed), and barbed wire all add up to communicating, at minimum, a cumulative message of fierceness to be feared.

Violence is the main caution for SONS OF THUNDER: REDEMPTION. A few minutes in to Episode 1 there ensues a two-on-one fistfight to unconsciousness. Along with a like fist fight in Episode 3, there’s also an illicit gun sale in which pistols get drawn to heads and faces. Episode 5 opens with one character waterboarding another. Episode 6 repeats a guns-drawn-to-faces scenario that ends with an intentional nonfatal shot causing some bleeding, then wraps with another hit being ordered.

Though the scripts keep objectionable family content to a minimum, the storyline danger and suspense is palpable, yet courage and faith carry the protagonists through. Just about every episode has both a Bible portion either read or spoken by Jacob; and a God conversation between Jacob and another main character. The latter are well written, portraying standard skeptical responses like “so you got religion, huh?” and “the Bible is just a bunch of fairy tales.” Jacob’s replies are brief, faithful, and not overdone.

Add to that the ranch setting, whether scanned in scene transitions by innovative drone footage, or shown by scenes working with the resident horses, or depicting the hard but satisfying work rodeo events are. The real-life Dale Gibson Ranch (“Dale” in the show) actually provides a calming and simple story venue with an effect much like Jesus’ farming parables do for teaching life’s lessons. Even the shush of the traffic of Los Angeles’ 210 Freeway, seen in the background of ranch-wide shots, provides a sound like running river waters, “restoring our souls.”

As a parable for all believers, SONS OF THUNDER: REDEMPTION tells the universal story of a saved sinner going into all the world to make other disciples, despite the inevitable obstacles of “sin, the world, and the Devil.” As proponent of a moral, biblical, and Christian worldview, with a few minor questionable, yet realistic elements, the series’ season 1 holds up the hope that Jesus is “still working on [you and] me, to make us what we ought to be.”

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