Healed After a Hardflip
Young hot shot skateboarder Caleb (Randy Wayne - Honey 2) has a strained relationship with his mum, Bethany (Rosanna Arquette - Northern Lights), and after a major argument Caleb shuts himself in his room with his stereo blasting. What Caleb doesn't realise is outside his door his mum has collapsed, slipping in to a coma brought on by a brain tumour, news of which she had been keeping from Caleb. Now on his own with a sick mum Caleb sets out to find out who is dad is having never known anything about him only to discover his father, Jack (John Schneider - Your Love Never Fails), is a money obsessed, egotistical businessman who doesn't appear to want to have anything to do with him when Caleb tracks him down.
Okay let me cut to the chase and say for just a minute ignore that "Hardflip" features skateboarding and what you have left is a movie built around some familiar story ideas and characters. We have the angry teen who is full of hate towards the man who fathered him but he has never met, he is also full of misplaced anger towards his mum because of how things are bad at home when it comes to money. Now with out going in to detail, events transpire which leads to Caleb meeting the father he is bitter at and something is going to have to happen to bridge the gap, something which will force Jack to realise there is more to life than work, as I said Jack is one of those workaholic, money obsessed types, a typical movie cliche.
But on top of these familiar elements "Hardflip" is also a piece of Christian cinema with Caleb during a moment of darkness is found by a fellow skateboarder who comes to him as a Christian with compassion and understanding. Now I won't go in to the mechanics of what follows other than to say it is all incredibly typical with that soulful musical accompaniment from what I expect is a Christian singer/band. All of which trust me works for a Christian audience because it re-affirms Christian beliefs but it doesn't quite make "Hardflip" work as an evangelical movie because like so many Christian movies it over does what I call "the road to Damascus" scenes as characters find God.
But "Hardflip" certainly tries to appeal to a mass audience and not just a Christian one with plenty of scenes of skateboarding which whilst entertaining didn't exactly make me think these skateboarders were that great. There is also the casting with the appeal of Randy Wayne once again playing a lot younger than his years and John Schneider playing a father figure. On a side note it is amusing that John Schneider starred as Bo Duke in "The Dukes of Hazzard" whilst Randy Wayne starred as Luke Duke in the TV movie spin-off "The Dukes of Hazzard: The Beginning".
What this all boils down to is that "Hardflip" is a visually pleasing movie and one whose Christian message will be enjoyable for an already Christian audience. But as a piece of evangelical Christian cinema "Hardflip" has short comings which spoil things.