I liked this film, but I did not love Abel's Field . One one hand, it was a moving story of a young man who was willing to do whatever it takes to take care of his younger sisters. He was not afraid to work hard, and did his best to provide a safe environment for them and make them feel loved. One scene (it's in the trailer, but I hate to give away too much) has a football player committing a criminal offense...in my state anyway. [Goodness knows we are crazy about football too, but the boy needed to be held accountable by the witnesses.] Plus, it bothers me that no one seems overly concerned about how these children are surviving. There is an inconsistency that distracted me. I can go along with some of it, but not the entire thing.
The relationship between Seth and Abel was more convincing. Both were struggling with unimaginable issues for most of us, but each provided something the other needed. Abel had withdrawn into himself and did not want to let anyone in. Many of the touches of humor sprinkled through out the film played on this aspect of his character, and I thought Sorbo showed great reactions to these situations. Seth was overwhelmed by responsibility, mistreated and/or abandoned by those who should have been helping him; He also believed that God didn't care about him. Both of these men learn that family matters, we need others, and that God can be trusted to be there even when we are having to step out on faith.
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The Faith message in this story is so weak, that I find it hard to believe that another reviewer gave it such high marks. The director (Gordie Haakstad) stated that he didn't want to sugar coat any elements of his movie. Oh boy, he very much succeeded in that! It's an emotional, hard luck story about Seth (Samuel Davis) who is left to raise his twin sisters because his father is a drunk, his mother is dead, and his half brother is also a drunk and shows no mercy. Even his babysitters walk out on him. The football coach is mean to him, so are his high school classmates (they beat him up at every opportunity), and the local banker is cold and heartless. Yep, fun for the whole family to watch! The comic relief in the movie is a wrinkled old lady (convenience store operator) with ugly freckles who wears low cut dresses showing wrinkles and freckles in places we would rather not see. Seth's love interest is an overweight girl that we are suppose to believe is one of the popular girls on campus. Seth didn't luck out there either! Abel (Kevin Sorbo) was cast as sort of a mentor to Seth. That played out poorly because the script called for him to be mostly cold, silent and mysterious throughout the first half of the script (& beyond). We learn later that that he has a secret sin with which he is preoccupied throughout the story (no hints here but his name is Abel). We see him praying several times, but self flagellation weight lifting precedes his prayers. Not much here for the family, nor much that would be edifying to anyone's Faith. If you want to see Kevin Sorbo at his best, buy a copy of "What If"! BTW, contrary to what the other reviewer said, this movie was not produced by the same people who did Fireproof and Courageous, merely distributed by some of the same.
Sometimes it's harder to forgive ourselves than it is to seek God's forgiveness. Seth McArdle is about to learn that very lesson in the unlikeliest of places. Seeking to raise his twin younger sisters after the death of his mother and now the abandonment of his father who fails to returns phone calls or even come home to see how his family is managing. While trying to finish up high school, avoid the quarterback of the football team who seems to bully Seth whenever possible, and hold down three jobs just to put enough food on the table. Now when a man appears searching for his father, Seth learns that his father hasn't been paying the mortgage payments on the house and it's now going to be foreclosed upon if the payments are made current.
When those around Seth offer help, he seems too proud to take it or even to ask for it. He is trying to find a way to keep his family together even though it's falling apart all around him. Even his brother, Keith, seems to have abandoned the responsibility of helping out when he can and instead finds solace in drinking. When Seth pushes things a bit too far with the football team, he finds himself the only one facing punishment. The football coach assigns him the task of working with Abel (Kevin Sorbo) the janitor/groundskeeper of the high school to get the sprinkler system up and working before the big game. Abel attempts to find a way to reach inside Seth and help him find the path back to God and to keep him from making some foolish mistakes that may cost him everything in the end.
In the DVD, Abel's Field by Affirm Films, makers of such wonderful family films like Fireproof and Courageous, now bring you another great family film that deals with forgiveness and understanding the circumstances that life can bring about when our choices seems to much to deal with. This is the perfect family movie to watch to show you how easy is can be to ask God for forgiveness and how hard it is for each of us to find forgiveness in ourselves. This one rates a 4 out of 5 stars in my opinion and I received Abel's Field, compliments of Propeller, FlyByPromotions and Affirm Films for my honest review. Once again if you're looking for a wonderful film to watch with your entire family without worrying about the subject matter, than this one is perfect to add to your DVD collection.