"Harness Your Talents for God"
What You Need To Know:
NEW is very family friendly, with a strong Christian worldview. Families with children of all ages can watch this movie and learn valuable lessons about pursuing their God-given talents and not letting their pride stop them from doing the right thing. That said, NEW would benefit from a few more rewrites and greater attention to developing a more cohesive narrative. With a tweak here and a polish there, the final product would surely begin to shine like new!
(CCC, BBB, V, M) Very strong Christian, biblical worldview with many positive themes about following God’s plan for your life, subduing pride and finding joy in the things many people do, many Bible verses quoted, one of the storylines resembles that of the prodigal son, and a character who’s clearly a villain equates himself with the devil, even going so far as to call himself the “lion that devours”; no foul language; some comical violence such as guys pretend long sticks are swords; no sex; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking or drugs; and, pride but rebuked.
NEW is a very family friendly (though painfully amateur at times) tale about finding joy in what God has called you to do by harnessing your talents for His glory.
The story is familiar. A young man with great talent is discovered, he’s given the chance to use his skills for fame and fortune, but as a result, he must give up his current job in the ministry.
This is what happens for Isaiah in NEW. The movie starts with him expressing the joy he finds in being a counselor at a small Christian summer camp. It’s clear to him he’s been called to serve the children at the camp by using his talents for music and dance. After he choreographs a dance that performs well in a competition, however, Isaiah is approached by a slimy talent scout. The talent scout promises Isaiah a new car and many more material things if he will leave behind his calling.
NEW is told from the perspective of 15-year-old Penny, Isaiah’s friend and co-worker. She provides the narration for Isaiah’s story and three other subplots, all sharing the theme of pride. Penny’s view of each situation is filled with levity and good-natured humor. Sadly, that often detracts from the actual lesson that’s supposed to be learned. For instance, a scene meant to help the audience better understand the struggle of Isaiah’s mother sort of loses its impact due to one of Penny’s interjections. Penny interrupts this scene by pointing out that the background action, featuring two teenage boys fighting over something pithy, is more entertaining than the important character development involving the hero’s mother.
Penny’s comical interruptions get in the way of the story and its message. A number of other script flaws (irrelevant narration, excessively long dance numbers, unrealistic dialogue, too many unimportant characters, etc.) also get in the way. Perhaps with a few more drafts of the script and more attention to the overall narrative, these shortcomings could have been resolved.
That said, NEW is very family friendly, with a strong Christian, biblical worldview. In fact, viewers would be extremely hard-pressed to find anything objectionable with any of the movie’s content. Families with children of any age can watch NEW and learn valuable lessons about pursuing their God-given talents and not letting their pride get in the way of doing the right thing.