"War Room" Is Strong On Message But Weak On Entertainment

08/29/2015 03:54 pm ET Updated Aug 29, 2016

"War Room" is the first Kendricks Brothers production but the team behind this film was also involved in the popular Christian themed movies "Flywheel", "Facing the Giants", Fireproof" and "Courageous". These movies set a high bar for the Kendricks Brothers to meet and sadly they failed with their new film. "War Room" is strong in message but weak in execution.

The focus of this film is the power of prayer. It is presented through the story of Elizabeth and Tony Jordan (Priscilla C. Shirer and T. C. Stallings). They have a daughter Danielle (Alena Pitts) whom they both adore. Still the problems between the parents are affecting their child. The main problem the couple have is that they are both trying to be good spouses, good parents and good workers. The emphasis on work and achievement is taking up time the couple should be spending on family.

Through her real estate work Elizabeth meets Miss Clara (Karen Abercrombie), an older woman who becomes a mentor of sorts to her. Miss Clara puts great emphasis on the power of prayer, and mentions having a place in her home called the "war room" where she goes to commune with God. She urges Elizabeth to create her own "War Room".

This is certainly a worthwhile plot but in Kendrick-world it seems like something we have watched before. The movie lacks freshness and for some undefinable reason energy. The movie moves slowly and never packs the punch so necessary to its overall enjoyment. This has a lot to do with the script by Alex Kendrick and his brother Stephen. It also is caused by the pacing set up by the film's director, Alex Kendrick.

In their past movies there has been a wonderful blend of drama and comedy that is lacking in this presentation. There are light moments here and there but the comic finesse shown in the past is nowhere to be seen. Also the people who eagerly support the Kendrick Brothers have grown used to seeing Alex in a lead role in their movies with Stephen making cameo appearances. In "War Room" both brothers have cameos only. Beth Moore, the noted Christian evangelist, is shown in the ads for this movie to be a central player. Don't blink or you will miss her.

The film is rated PG for adult situations.

"War Room" is a movie with a message, and that is a good thing. But this time the Kendrick Brothers stumble and fail to deliver the entertainment. You can get the message in church; you need to be entertained at the movies.

I scored "War Room" an unarmed 5 out of 10.

Jackie K Cooper
www.jackiekcooper.com