"Restored by Grace"
A LONG WAY OFF is a lackluster modern re-telling of the biblical parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32.
Jake Abraham is tired of living and working on the family farm, submitting to the rules of his father. Jake is always doing the bare minimum.
One day, Jake demands an early inheritance from his father. Much to the surprise of Jake and Jake’s older brother, Seth, their father agrees to Jake’s request, and Jake takes off to the big city.
Jake charges into the city, intent on proving that his modern ways are better than his dad’s traditional ways. For a while, he does surprisingly well, despite taking huge business risks. His fast lifestyle finds him making “easy” money. He even wins a small bet with an attractive local coffee house barista named Summer.
Jake’s flamboyance quickly attracts the wrong women, including the seductive Laura. Laura’s rich mobster boyfriend, Frank, is often dangerously nearby. Jake seemingly has got it all – money, ladies and prestige. Jake entices Frank into buying one of his big stock schemes. However, when things fail, Jake finds himself running for his life. A twist of fate leaves Jake having to face the consequences of his sins alone. Will God lead Jake back home?
The first half of A LONG WAY OFF is too slow and talky. It takes too long to get started. Also, though there’s definitely jeopardy in the second half, it dissipates rather suddenly and unexpectedly. That said, the third act is emotionally moving. However, it may leave some viewers asking themselves what the actors could have done with a stronger, more dramatic, more involving script.
Thematically, the movie hits some good notes. The hero is brought low and sees the error of his ways. Also, he eventually finds love and comfort in Christian faith and values as well as the grace of his Father in Heaven and his father on Earth. So, A LONG WAY OFF is all right, though not nearly as inspiring as the way Jesus tells the same story in Scripture. In Jesus Christ’s version, for example, the dialogue really pops. It’s dramatic, concise, vivid, and to the point.
(CCC, BBB, Pa, V, S, N AA, D, M) Very strong Christian, biblical worldview in a modern re-telling of the biblical parable of the Prodigal son told by Jesus in Luke 15:11-32, and (as in the original) hero indulges in pagan hedonism until he comes to his senses; light threat of violence when gangster owed money grabs another man and threatens him with only 24 hours to get the money; no sex scenes but man with champagne enters woman’s apartment, man sits in booth with two or three women in bar/nightclub, and woman has gangster boyfriend in her apartment; upper male nudity in one scene; plenty of drinking (including at a party) and man seems a bit tipsy in one scene; brief smoking but no drugs; and, jealousy but rebuked, laziness but rebuked.
A LONG WAY OFF is a modern, mediocre re-telling of the Prodigal Son story in Luke. Jake is tired of working on the family farm. He demands an early inheritance from his father. His father agrees. Jake goes to the big city and does rather well. He even entices a rich mobster into buying into one of his stock schemes. However, when things fail, Jake finds himself running for his life. Jake has to face the consequences of his sins alone. Will God lead Jake back home?
The first half of A LONG WAY OFF is too slow and talky. Though there’s jeopardy in the second half, it dissipates suddenly. The third act is emotionally moving. Thematically, the movie hits a few good notes. The hero is brought low and sees the error of his ways. Also, he eventually finds love in Christian faith and values as well as the grace of his Father in Heaven and his father on Earth. So, A LONG WAY OFF is not as inspiring as it could have been, as Jesus told the parable in scripture.