My wife and I rarely watch a movie all the way through in one sitting. Usually it is broken up over two nights. After the first night, the kids will usually ask me, “How is the movie?” My answer is, “That depends on the ending.” How a movie ends usually makes or breaks it. A bad ending can ruin an otherwise good movie. A good ending, an ending that satisfies, can take an okay movie to good and a good movie to great. Our family finally got around to watching N. D. Wilson’s The River Thief. This movie is an example of the ending making the movie better. The ending satisfied in numerous ways. I am not a movie critic nor the son of a movie critic. I have never made, wrote, directed, or acted in a movie. So take my thoughts with that in mind. Here are my thoughts about this movie, starting with some criticisms.
First, you are not watching a movie made on a 20 million dollar budget with top of the line actors and special effects. If you are expecting that then you will be disappointed. The acting is better than the first Kendrick Brothers movie, Flywheel, but there are still some bad moments. This is not so much a criticism as it is a reminder of what to expect and that Christians have a ways to go when it comes to production values and acting.
Second, the story could have been tighter. At places the plot was uneven and the script was weak. Some questions naturally arise, such as why would that woman’s son help Diz? Read the Filmfisher review, which hits on a few these problems as well as explaining why the grandfather is not a plot problem.
I have a few other criticisms, but considering this is the first full length movie by N.D. Wilson, that he wrote it and then shot it in three weeks, I would consider it a rousing success. Why? Continue reading