CHAMPION (2017)

"What Makes a Champion?"

Quality: Content: -1 "CAUTION"
NoneLightModerateHeavy
Language
Violence
Sex
Nudity

Summary:

CHAMPION is a beautifully photographed drama about a race car driver who gets angry, kills another driver during a race, and now must confront the driver’s father and his own daughter. Though it sags in the middle, CHAMPION has a very compelling opening and an emotionally powerful ending, with a strong Christian worldview stressing forgiveness.

Review:

CHAMPION is a beautifully photographed drama about a race car driver who gets angry, kills another driver during a race, and now must confront the driver’s father and his own daughter. Can he overcome his demons and become a real champion?
Shawn is a very arrogant, winning dirt track racecar champion. When he’s challenged by a new driver, Ray Reed, he gets angry and runs into him. The resulting accident kills Ray.

Ray’s father had just reconnected with Ray. They had been alienated for many years, but Ray invited his father, Jack, to come watch a race. Jack meets a precocious young girl, Gracie, who happens to be Shawn’s daughter, while watching the race.

When Ray dies, Jack of course hates Shawn. The hate consumes him. The heart of Ray’s race team, Logan, is a Christian pastor, who tries to reach out to Jack. Eventually, Logan gets Jack to hire Shawn, but Shawn can’t get a job because he consumes too many drugs and alcohol, and he’s lost custody of Gracie. “How can anyone solve these intractable problems?” is the question posed by this Evangelical Christian movie.

CHAMPION considers what makes a real winner. It deals with the problems fathers and their children have, the guilt many people carry, the trials and tribulations of life, and the need for forgiveness. The lead actors are good, as is most of the dialogue, and the cinematography is excellent. The opening is very compelling, and the ending will make you cry. Regrettably, the middle is slightly on the nose and too long winded. If it WERE edited better, CHAMPION could be a four-star movie.

That said, CHAMPION has a strong, inspiring Christian worldview. Though it ignores the idea of repentance a little too much, its message of forgiveness is developed in a very compelling way that teaches an important lesson.

Content:

(CCC, BBB, V, N, AA, DD, M) Very strong Evangelistic Christian, moral worldview stressing forgiveness but slightly ignoring repentance; no foul language; some race car violence with one driver getting killed racing; no sex; upper male nudity in swimming trunk scene; man drinks a lot of alcohol; no smoking but man is addicted to pills and fails employment test; and, anger, lying father-son issues, fathers ignore sons and break promises, sons hate their fathers.

In Brief:

CHAMPION is a beautifully photographed drama about Shawn, a very arrogant, winning dirt track racecar champion. When he is challenged by a new driver, Ray Reed, Shawn gets angry and deliberately runs into him. The resulting accident kills Ray. Even worse, Ray’s estranged father, Jack, had just reconciled with Ray and was watching from the stands. Hate begins to consume Jack while Shawn get a job because he consumes too many drugs and alcohol, and he’s lost custody of his own daughter. How can anyone solve these intractable problems?

CHAMPION considers what makes a real winner. It deals with the problems fathers and their children have, the guilt many people carry, the trials and tribulations of life, and the need for forgiveness. The lead actors are good, as is most of the dialogue, and the cinematography is excellent. Though the middle sags a bit, the opening is really compelling and the ending is emotionally powerful. CHAMPION has a strong, inspiring Christian worldview. Though it ignores the idea of repentance a little too much, its message of forgiveness teaches an important, valuable lesson.