Some films, regardless of content or quality, should inspire you to get over yourself and do something amazing.
Some films, regardless of content or quality, should inspire you to get over yourself and do something amazing. Most of us know what it means to face an obstacle and want to throw in the towel. But 23 Blast will take all your “I can’t” excuses and drop kick them out of the end zone. It is impossible to watch this film and not be inspired to do, well, anything.
The film is based on the true life story of Travis Freeman (Mark Hapka). Travis lost his eye sight at the age of 12 due to a viral infection of meningitis. This was obviously devastating to his friends and family. Travis was a strong athlete and had the potential to succeed greatly on the football field. It seemed he would never feel the warmth of the Friday night lights again until Coach Farris (Stephen Lang) decided to do something extraordinary; let Travis play. The film shows how Travis’ faith and the support of those around him motivated him into doing amazing things.
The movie isn’t perfect and for the most part would never hold the line against mainstream blockbusters. But what it does have makes it a film that families and young teens should take the time to view. The story is more than inspiring. To see the real Travis Freeman now as a Pastor and College professor shows that no obstacle should cause you to give up or worse spiral down into a bed of self-pity. In the film you see a young man who has been dealt a tough hand but wants to be a normal kid. He has to decide that it isn’t the end.
The cast also seem to have a real passion for bringing the film to life. Obviously their interaction with the real Freeman family has given them a joy that comes out in the performances. Dylan Baker not only stars in the film as Travis’s dad but also produced and directed 23 BLAST. He is a fantastic and well liked character actor and it is that personal touch he brings that makes this a heartwarming film to watch. The entire ensemble seems to be having a lot of fun; even in the heavier moments. It is as if they can see how things turned out and that carries them through each scene.
23 Blast is rated PG-13 for some teen drinking. I am not sure why this is not PG. Sure there are some dramatic moments as Travis and family deal with this sad circumstance. But there is nothing offensive about any of it. It is safe for any 10 and up member of your family and should be watched by all. It is a film that will inspire you to talk about overcoming obstacles and encourage conversation in regards to faith and fortitude. I give it 3 out of 5 lines of scrimmage. Again it isn’t a perfect film but the story and message are grander than many you will see this year.
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