Faith of My Fathers (2005)
The John McCain Story
As a Brit having only ever lived in the UK I have of course heard of US Senator John McCain but other than being an American politician I knew little of him. I doubt I am alone and so in truth I am probably not the best person to be reviewing "Faith of Mr Fathers" which is a TV movie adapted from John McCain's own memoirs as I have not read them. Although alternatively maybe my lack of knowledge and not being an American makes me an ideal reviewer of this TV movie as other than reading a synopsis I had no preconceived ideas or any like or dislike of the man himself which could cloud my judgement.
So what happens in "Faith of My Fathers" well we get a functional opening on a young John McCain going on a bombing run and despite hearing the missile warning buzzers kept on going and in doing so ending up being hit and ending up coming down in enemy territory. What follows on from there is what happened to McCain over the next 5 and a half years as he was kept as a prisoner of war, suffering all forms of barbaric inhumane treatment. But at the same time this interweaves with his life before hand as we get to see his relationship with his father Admiral Jack McCain who was his inspiration and the equally barbaric training he endured at military school which helped him endure prison.
All of which is a solid account of a man who went through 5 and a half years of hell and respectful to all of those who were prisoners of war. But to me it was an account with not a huge lot of depth, yes we get too understand the relationship between father and son and how both father and son made some tough choices but what you don't see is change. We see McCain endure torture and have the character to endure it but we don't see how it alters him. It makes "Faith of My Fathers" a movie which at times come across as a serial of abuse be it in the prison or in the military academy.
So to me whilst "Faith of My Fathers" is a solid movie it is not without issues but none of those issues are from the acting. Shawn Hatosy delivers a strong performance of a young man drawing on his training and his relationship with his father to endure the inhumane treatment whilst Scott Glenn brings caring but also authority to his role as Jack McCain.
What this all boils down to is that "Faith of My Fathers" ends up a solid account of a man's time in a Vietnam POW camp whilst also covering his relationship with his father. But it is only a solid and respectable account rather than some hard hitting drama.
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