THE BUTTERCREAM GANG is a family drama about a helpful group of 14-year old boys whose leader leaves for Chicago as a nice boy and comes back as a criminal. THE BUTTERCREAM GANG is entertaining and wholesome, but because it is produced by the predominantly Mormon company Feature Films for Families, Christians may want to approach it with discernment.
THE BUTTERCREAM GANG centers around a group of boys in Oakridge, Illinois, who perform good deeds for the needy. Buttercream leader Pete (Michael D. Wheathered), an orphan who lives with his grandparents, is leaving for Chicago to live with his aunt. However, in Chicago, Pete is weaned away from the good deeds of his Buttercream past and becomes involved with a street gang. After his school performance drops, his aunt sends him back to Oakridge. Needless to say, Pete is not at all the same guy, and so he forms a Chicago-style gang, dedicated to theft, vandalism and harassment. Hurt by his friend’s downward slide, the new Buttercream leader, Scott, struggles with a seemingly insoluble and painful dilemma.
THE BUTTERCREAM GANG is well-acted, quality drama that is often compelling and challenging. Michael D. Wheathered displays a surprising range as an actor. However, the spiritual messages are so muddled and confused as to suggest that the producers are somewhat unfamiliar with traditional Christianity since Feature Films for Families is predominantly staffed by Mormons, although not officially affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Nevertheless, THE BUTTERCREAM GANG is an entertaining and wholesome film with a solid moral message. The film is really not any worse than any other film by non-Christians with Christian characters and messages, and much better than most.
(B, C, M) Biblical principles of unconditional love and forgiveness; positive reference to a past Christian influence in character's life; adolescent rebellion & theft (not justified), subtly confused philosophies about salvation and presentations of Christianity with virtually no reference to relationship with Jesus Christ, although Mohandas Gandhi is quoted in reverential fashion with impact on character's life.