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Breakthrough Chrissy Metz Soars as the film does it job just fine Grade: C+

Source: IMDB

Inspired by an incredible miracle of a true story, comes from the Smith family in a little town in Missouri. Life seemed to be running normal for Joyce Smith (Chrissy Metz) and ball playing adopted son John (Marcel Ruiz). On Martin Luther King Day, John and his friends goofed off near a solid rock icy lake. One thing led to another, John fell through the ice as he is now in critical condition as it would take a miracle to survive. Hopefully the medical staff and the works of God, could help John pull off a miracle. I'm always on the fence when comes to watching these christian films. Either they're worth watching for a lesson or a well told story, or are just poorly made Christian propaganda films. Breakthrough was one of those Christian films that could've been left on Television, however it does have purpose being shown on the big screen after all. Let's start off with The Cinematography... Looks like a pretty cheap made film. The opening shot felt like a Great Value version shot of Shape of Water, it gives away the main conflict on the film as I wouldn't have chosen this cheesy shot to start with. In the beginning there's a cut away zoom shot out of the house, that looked pretty ridiculous as I don't get why this shot was even made. I will admit: There is one shot that was pretty good, involving John's first hospital visit. Not too long ago my grandmother was in the hospital, she stayed in a small room that looked pretty depressing, especially when a bunch visitors came because it can be truly claustrophobic. I'm glad in this shot they got it accurately done, so at least there is one redeemable quality shot in this film I could say worth remembering. The Score was alright, your typical cliche drama music that sounds pretty much the same like the others. One part of the music that annoyed me, was the ad lips done in the Sunday Service, it was so terrible and even the reason behind it was hilarious. The cast is always a main concern for these type of films, it can go from good to terrible. In this film... The cast wasn't too bad. The saving grace of this film is definitely Chrissy Metz performance, which is by far the best performance of this entire film easily, she did a great job. Let's ignore the fact the character is a cliche Christian mother, let's admire the fact her performance brings life to this character as she's putting a lot of raw emotion towards this role and it makes her character worth rooting for. Mike Colter and Dennis Haysbert both played solid performances in this film. The rest of the cast were alright or just kind of bad, some cast members tried to cry but didn't know how to so the scenes looked bad, especially bad child acting as well. So Breakthrough what looked like in the beginning, a film that should've been kept on TV... Turned out to be a little surprise, as it wasn't half bad. Once this film goes through John's conflict from the start, it becomes a better film to watch, because now you have a story worth being told. It kept me engaged and interested how John was going to be able to pull off this miracle, it was executed just fine. One scene that really gave me some goosebumps, is the choir scene in the third act, that whole scene and song was pretty damn good, truly enjoyed it. Some serious/conflict scenes were executed well and some weren't. Like I enjoyed the scene between John and Tommy near the Lake, that was nice. Joyce's mom going off on the medical staff and the outside corny "I surrender" scene were nice. I didn't care for the Smith's hallway conflicted scene out in the hallway, as it was poorly done. I didn't like the bully scene at the end, it was kind of corny too, even if it had a purpose of showing the world despite a good thing being done, people will find a way to spread hate for some odd reason. I tell ya this film made us happy the conflict is better than laughter, because the comedy material they use for this film SUCKED. I mean the jokes were just terrible, I didn't laugh once as I felt more annoyed than anything. I can't stand the adult trying to figure out social media jokes and adults trying to act hip jokes, just stop it's not funny at all. Couple of other moments I have to talk about as flaws. In the beginning there was a game winning basketball moment... The lack of excitement from the crowd felt awkward, the team you wanted to win won on a buzzer beating shot, why is there no excitement at all?! When the conflict happens, in the beginning the kids do not look like they’re terribly freezing, just bad direction towards these kid actors. I also dislike at the end, regarding yet another basketball scene... My God that was extremely corny for no reason. Breakthrough though sometimes can feel like a poorly made TV movie, it perhaps shines as a film worth telling and embraces it's cheesiness, making it a somewhat engaging enjoyable watch, whether you believe in God or not, there is something here for both sides to enjoy. Overall, Breakthrough was an enjoyably fine Christian film that brought us a nice lesson and a story worth telling. I somewhat recommend this film, better suited for a rental than watching in theaters. Funny thing about this film: Immediately after watching it, I was approach by a young man preaching to me about the Bible... What a weird coincidence?! Hopefully a sign of an unexpected blessing shall be coming my way soon. -Mitch Smietana

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