Today, I’m going to be talking about a little film that’s been called “the Christian version of John Wick”. It’s Beckman. Every now and then, I feel the need to watch religious films, especially if it has a number of other people talking about it. It’s been a while since I’ve prepared myself to cringe at what PureFlix has in store now. The last of which was probably the God’s Not Dead trilogy. I watch these because I have faith that PureFlix isn’t completely lost. Sometimes, they have good, or at the very least, interesting concepts, and Beckman is one of them, about a hitman agonist…let’s get crackin!
This review is brought to you by the word of the day: Agonist.
A person who is torn by inner conflict.
Beckman focuses on a man named Aaron Beckman, who was once a famous assassin who turned to religion as a form of escaping from his sinful life, but he is forced back into that world when a girl he considers a daughter is abducted by a pair of traffickers led by a cult leader, and he risks all to take vengeance on the men that took her from him.
Calling this a Christian version of John Wick is a bit of an understatement. It’s primarily John Wick mixed with Taken. This film is downright ridiculous for a majority of reasons, but I want to start with some positives, and the main takeaway I have to say about Beckman is that it at least tried. They saw the popularity that surrounded the John Wick series and tried to reach the same crowd while throwing a religious theme in there, as well. Making this assassin a pastor. Now, there’s an idea. I’ll also admit that I did like the editing in this movie, since that seemed to be a major focus in the film. There was a lot of focus on the editing both in its action and its its overall direction, which is mostly linear, but sometimes goes back and forth in time to focus on certain emotions.
I’m sure one of the main things people are wondering about with this film is the action itself and how it compares to John Wick. The answer is…not bad, especially for a Christian film, but obviously not as good as anything Hollywood is able to do. My biggest laugh comes down to when the main characters are driving on the street during a low-speed car chase. As our lead character says, “Only idiots get into car chases”. Yeah, more like, this isn’t a contained movie set, it’s just a regular street you’re driving on and you can’t legally do that crap in real life, so the bad guys calmly follow behind our action star as he drives 35 miles per hour down the road. Very exciting! Oh yeah, and one thing I actually liked about this movie was certain characters. Most were flat and shallow, but apart from Beckman himself, you had the cult leader played by William Baldwin, who was pretty interesting, and a couple of the other assassin characters, like The Administrator and the assassins that are a couple that work together, they were pretty cool, too…but most of that was just borrowed from other movies.
No, this film has some major flaws. The main problem it runs into is simply put…I can’t figure out who the target audience is. It doesn’t even work for Christians. People who like normal movies, especially movies like John Wick will laugh and honestly cringe at the amateurism and bad acting of this film. All the while, Christians will cringe at the violence, murder, and gore of a film that they can’t even watch with their kids. There’s no winning with Beckman. The niche of this film is so tiny that I’m not sure it’ll work for anyone unless they literally love everything they see. I also don’t understand how they keep getting David A.R. White to star as the lead actor in every PureFlix film that exists. Why? Does he own the company or something? He is not a good actor, not even by a little bit. He’s painfully atrocious at what he does, and this 50 year old actor still sports the same early 2000’s blonde tips hairstyle he’s been wearing for the last few decades. I can’t ever take the dude seriously because he thinks he’s amazing when he clearly isn’t. Any other negative associated with the film really just comes down to where PureFlix consistently misses the mark. I’m talking about about cinematography with most scenes and an abundance of church stuff that doesn’t feel very balanced with the violent murder stuff. It’s just a very inconsistent movie.
Let’s go ahead and break down my final score for a second. From an unbiased, technical vantage point, this film is clearly cheaper than most movies you’ll watch in the year. It tried really hard during its action sequences to stand out, and perhaps if you’re a sheltered Christian, it’ll work pretty well for you…but seeing as many movies as I do, it’s just as laughably bad as any other Christian film out there. That score is 56%, and as far as my biased score goes, I enjoyed some of the action stuff because it’s really funny to see a Christian movie do any of that, but as usual, the heavy-handed religious stuff is annoying, distracting, and inconsistant with the rest of the movie. That score is 46%, averaging everything out to the final rating of 51%, 51 out of 100 possible stars, or an F letter grade.
Now, it may have failed, just as a lot of Christian films fail my grading scale, but it was technically rated quite a bit higher than other religious films, particularly the God’s Not Dead trilogy, and that’s probably just because it’s sometimes fun to watch, for better or worse. But if you’ve seen Beckman, let me know your thoughts on it in the comments section down below. Are you a fan of Christian films? If so, are you disgusted with all the violence in this? As usual, until next time…