Movie Review: Cory Brand (Elrod) is a pro-baseball player. He is an all-star player, but his alcohol drinking and temper are constants that cause trouble. Cory is fighting many demons, mainly from his childhood. He and his brother, Clay (Devoti), an Oklahoma district attorney, were abused by their alcoholic father. Cory, the oldest of the two, is now battling alcoholism and anger-management issues. After a DUI incident, Helene (Fox), Cory’s agent, sends him to his small hometown in Oklahoma for recovery. There, he must coach a Little League team as a publicity stunt to revamp his image. He also finds life and faith again through a Christian recovery program.
Until recently, Boyd was directing television series such as “Friday Night Lights” and “The Walking Dead.” “Home Run” marks his directorial debut for the big screen.
While nothing powerful, this drama does provide an interesting character, Cory, as played earnestly by a handsome Elrod. Boyd directs with an easy style that works for audiences wanting easy entertainment.
This is a film about finding a new life through Christian faith. Therefore, this is a message film. It is meant to deliver a message to its observers.
Often, these religious films are meant for a particular audience. In the past, this genre of film has been met with some overly unnecessary criticism. Often when speaking with moviegoers, they remark that these movies are lacking in multiple aspects. The earlier Christian-based films did concentrate a little too much on the message rather than cinematic substance: plot, acting, cinematography and other technical aspects. However, these films’ producers were more concerned about spreading “The Word,” rather than appealing to broad audiences. This did hurt them when trying to appeal to broader audiences.
“Home Run,” like other faith-based films, does what it is supposed to do — delivers a message while sacrificing cinematic moments for safe Christian material. Yet “Home Run” does provide plenty of strong moments that make it worth it. It is light material that is easy to sit through. It also provides a very straight-forward message about love, finding faith and forgiveness. On that, it does its job.
Grade: B- (It manages to reach the home plate.)