Movie Review – Camp

Movie Review of Camp

You can read Word Films own summary of camp here. Here is an excerpt:

Eli’s life is nightmare. His mother is a drug addict who neglects his care, and his transient father floats in and out of his life. Eli is filled with rage from the physical abuse he has received from his father but he longs for his love and approval. On his 10th birthday Eli is taken to the hospital by police who respond to a domestic disturbance call. Eli is removed from his home and is placed in Locustwood, a facility little better than a youth prison. In this environment Eli spirals downward, becoming an angry and scared creature.

Meanwhile, to impress a potential new client, investment advisor Ken Matthews signs up to be a camp counselor and gets paired with Eli. When the kids arrive at camp, the chaos begins. Ken and Eli bunk in a cabin with counselor Samuel, back from his second tour of duty in the army, and Redford, a kid who thinks he is an alien. Determined to hate camp, Eli is way more than Ken can handle.

I will proceed with the same three measuring sticks I have used in the past to try to judge the merit of this movie. Ultimately, the question is, should you spend the resources God has provided you with to see this flick? Or would your money be better spent elsewhere…there is certainly need all around us.

I offer the three criteria I will use to discern the worth of Home Run in order of importance.

  1. Is God glorified?
  2. Will the movie tempt someone to sin?
  3. Is there a practical application to the lessons learned within?

I will consider them in reverse order:

Is there a practical application to the lessons learned within?

I found Camp to be an enjoyable movie from a sheer entertainment standpoint. The acting was better than usual for what I expect was a relatively low budget film, the characters were believable and the story, although predictable, was compelling. The movie is loosely based on real life events. This brought even more emotion and feel to the story.

Generally, the movie depicts goodness. Characters are seen praying and bad behavior is not glorified. Without spoiling too much, I’ll tell you that lessons are learned by characters which are the types of lessons we would want to teach our children. Ultimately, you are left with a challenge as a view as to whether you would have it in you to do what you may spend the movie criticizing the main character for doing poorly!

The main plotline was rather simple, but the surrounding subplots and investigation into the lives of the various characters who attend the camp brings much interest to the story.

Will the movie tempt someone to sin?

Now we all have different sin-tendencies, I know, but I can only speak of a few of the more obvious ones. I saw no areas of the movie where a person would have a problem with sin. This is truly a well done movie safe for kids and families to enjoy! I recall no blasphemy, nor vulgarity, and the women were modest throughout. In fact, there are scenes in a swimming pool and the movie makers did an excellent job of doing that tastefully.

Is God glorified?

Camp, although worth watching and excellently done in many ways, falls short in a vital way. There are ample opportunities in this movie to refer to the sacrifice of Christ for the forgiveness of sins and declare the gospel. I would expect ANY Christian camp to do this, so why not exhibit it on film? My wife and I actually spent the movie wondering if the movie was even Christian – or if it was simply an offshoot of Christianity.

A bold, or even not so bold, gospel presentation would have alleviated these concerns. The answer to the needs of both the immature counselor and the hurting children in the movie is a reconciled relationship with Jesus Christ and a desire to know Him deeply.

I know I already said that the movie was modest, but let me put it this way – I recall more instances where the movie was borderline immodest than even veiled references to Christ’s atoning work.

Having said that, Camp can be an enjoyable night of entertainment for Christians, and even could be used as the launchpad for spiritual discussion which actually does center around God’s Word. Evangelistic and bold, it is not, but heartwarming and worth a couple hours, it is.

Concluding Thoughts

In conclusion, I highly recommend you try to see this movie. Visit http://www.wordfilms.com/ to find out how.

I received this movie free from Word Films as part of their Blogger Review Program, via Blogger Gateway. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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