“From T.C. Christensen, director of the sensational pioneer film, 17 Miracles, comes the heroic true story of a simple man who was called to do the work of angels. Ephraim’s Rescue relates the story of Ephraim Hanks: a rescuer of the Martin Handcart company.
Follow Ephraim as his adventures lead him to join the LDS Church and ultimately to one of the most heroic rescues in American history. With a unique desire to help and strengthen others, Ephraim learns that each choice we make can prepare us for what lies ahead. He discovers, through it all, that decisions determine destiny.”
This is a first. I haven’t ever reviewed a movie before, so we’ll see how this goes. I was invited by one of the companies I review for to go to a prescreening for this new movie “Ephraim’s Rescue.” It is being released in select theaters on May 31st. Even though it’s a movie, and I review books, I decided to take a (very short) break from reading and go see the movie. I wasn’t sure what to expect. Overall, I mostly enjoyed it. It is religious in nature. It centers on a man named Ephraim Hanks, and it goes through some of his life and the experiences he had during those times. I know they tried to fit a lot into the 2 hours, but I would have liked to have seen more about his early years. It shows how he came to convert to a new religion, and what happened when he dedicated his life to living that religion. The culminating moment is when he helps to rescue a group of people traveling with handcarts across the plains. These people left too late in the season, and then were faced with an early winter. They buried many of their friends and family along the way, and those who were still alive were barely hanging on. Many of them didn’t have shoes and walked through the snow in bare feet. Their food supplies were completely gone. Even though the conditions were awful, Ephraim risks his own life to get supplies and aid to these people.
The storyline was a little hard to follow in parts because the time periods and places kept switching. At times I was confused about who was who in which time period, and how it all fit together. They switch from Ephraim to a family in England, and although they do eventually come together, I thought there would be a much greater connection than there was. I’m not sure why they spend so much time talking about the background of this other family when there isn’t a greater connection with the two families. There was a part about a man in a suit on a ship, and Ephraim says it was a huge turning point in his life. I may not be very smart, but I didn’t understand that part at all. I did not see how that could be a life changing experience. Some of the actors did a very good job and were believable, and others didn’t convince me at all. There were some funny and lighthearted moments, but there was also a lot of sadness and devastation. I also felt that even though they tried to stay away from the cheese, there were some very cheesy parts. One thing I didn’t like was that there were some very personal, intimate, and sacred experiences that I didn’t feel comfortable watching in a movie. Those moments felt too personal and I felt they could have described them without showing all the details. There were some really good lessons in this movie, though. A lesson I liked was that the experiences we have in our lives prepare us for moments in our future. We can take those experiences and be ready when those moments come, or we can let them pass us by and be unprepared when those future moments come. The lesson is to grab ahold during those times of preparation and be ready when the time comes.
I couldn’t find a rating for this movie, but I think I’ll allow my 11 year-old, and maybe my 9 year-old, to watch it. I wouldn’t go younger than that. There isn’t any profanity. There is one little kiss (that kind of surprised me), and there is a lot of devastation. There is a lot of death, frostbitten and gross toes and feet, and physical ailments. I think it would be really good for teenagers to watch. I think a lot of teenagers today think they have it rough if their cellphone is taken away…..they have no idea what people went without and the hardships they encountered. It made me thankful for all that I have.
Rating: PG+ (Death, physical hardships and ailments)
Recommendation: 9 and up at the youngest.
Disclosure: I did receive a free ticket to this movie in exchange for my honest review.