"Every Life Matters"
What You Need To Know:
DOONBY stars John Schneider in the title role. Sam Doonby drifts into a small town and starts to protect people from one disaster after another. Two thugs hold up a bar where he works, and Doonby saves the owner from getting killed. Doonby also saves a baby from being hit by a truck. As the story develops, there are flashbacks to Doonby’s youth. His mother lived on the wrong side of town. Eventually, she abandoned him. Beneath all the good Doonby brings to the small town, there’s the deeper story of who is Doonby. When the girl who loves him denies him, the truth is revealed.
DOONBY is about a hero who displays Christ-like character. The first half of DOONBY flows very well. Some extra plot issues are inserted at that point. This creates a few small plot holes. The Twilight Zone ending, however, is compelling. It’s designed to help people understand the value of life. This strong moral content supports a very strong Christian worldview. That said, DOONBY contains a lot of drinking, some carousing and scary violence, so caution is recommended.
(CCC, BBB, Pa, L, VV, S, N, AA, D, M) Very strong Christian, moral, anti-abortion worldview where the title character is an allegorical Christ figure, set in a dark fallen world, with some strong references to God and faith, but they could be more explicit; two “h” obscenities and one possible light profanity; some intense violence includes thieves shoot up bar and wound owner, man tries to attack girl with large knife and is killed after he bangs his head and blood starts to pool under his head, major truck accident almost hits baby, attempted rape, threats of violence, and abortion suggested but ultimately rebuked; some kissing, girl tries to seduce man and gets undressed in his bed but nothing is shown, and he kicks her out, another girl comes onto the man, and a hot tub scene, but nothing untoward occurs though the possibility is vaguely implied; some upper male nudity; lots of alcohol use, sometimes to get drunk, and title character gets a job as a bartender; smoking; and, attempted robbery, lying, carousing, and false accusation but mostly rebuked.
DOONBY tells about a holy fool character. The holy fool is a medieval and Renaissance Christ character used in French and even Russian literature as a Christ figure who comes from nowhere to transform people’s lives.
John Schneider plays Sam Doonby, who drifts into a small Southern town and starts to protect people from one disaster after another. For instance, two thugs hold up a bar where he gets a job, and Doonby saves the owner from being killed. Doonby saves a baby from being hit by a Mack truck. He also saves a young woman from being killed by a deranged killer who’s escaped a mental asylum in New York. During all this, Doonby attracts a following as a bartender and a singer. Several women throw themselves at Doonby, but he acts with the utmost chivalry and respect.
As the story develops, there are flashbacks to Doonby’s youth. Doonby thought his mother was a beautiful blonde angel, but she hung out on the wrong side of town at the wrong bars and with the wrong men. Eventually, she abandons him.
Beneath all the good that’s happening in the small town, there’s the deeper story of who is Doonby. [POSSIBLE SPOILER FOLLOWS] When the girl who loves him refuses to accept love and denies him, the audience finds out the surprising truth.
The first half of DOONBY flows well. There are a couple plot issues that mar the second half. These issues create a few minor plot diversions. Even so, the Twilight Zone ending is compelling and designed to help people understand the value of life.
DOONBY has a good cast of known veterans and newcomers. Jenn Gotzon does a wonderful job in her role as Laura Reaper, although there are one or two scenes where the direction of her scene is over the top. John Schneider gives one of his best performances, a performance that stacks up against the best that Hollywood can do. A more cohesive script could have added even more to his performance. The supporting cast also has some noteworthy performances. For instance, Ernie Hudson (from GHOSTBUSTERS) is great as the bar owner who hires Doonby. Also, Norma McCorvey, who was the legal “Jane Roe” in the landmark American lawsuit Roe vs. Wade that legalized abortion, plays a strong pro-life first role in the movie to help proclaim her faith and change of heart in real life. There’s also a marvelous scene between Robert Davi as the sheriff and Matthew Tomkins as his deputy. That scene is so well done that there could be a whole movie, with perhaps a lighter tone, focusing on these two characters. Ultimately, DOONBY is a movie with an important story that’s interesting to watch.
DOONBY displays latent talent. Movieguide® commends the filmmakers for their hard work. That said, there’s a lot of drinking, carousing and some scary violence in the movie, so caution is recommended, especially for pre-adolescents.
Even so, DOONBY has a very strong Christian, moral worldview with a pro-life message. There are some overt, positive references to God and faith, but that content could be more strongly Christian, especially if the movie had included some overt references to Jesus Christ and vicarious atonement for our sins.
However, the title character is an allegorical Christ figure who displays a Christ-like character. This turns a climactic scene, where he’s overtly denied, into a powerful statement about faith in Christ, with a pro-life spin that reiterates the movie’s moral premise about the evils of abortion.