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Forgiven Has No Reason to Exist
by Scott Nehring, Contributing Writer

Forgiven1.5 starsSynopsis:
It's 1878 and Jake Kincaid has just been released from prison for a crime he didn't commit. His heart is seeking vengeance on those responsible for landing him in jail, but he's also very interested in finding the gold he was accused of stealing.

In his quest, Kincaid finds himself in the small lumber town of Fairplay, California. Here he meets an independent woman trying to do it all on her own, and a mischievous little girl with a quest of her own - finding something to fill her lonely heart.

Fairplay is where Kincaid learns that love is far more powerful than hate and that redemption is more precious than gold.

Nothing Much Happens
This DVD was sent to me through a marketing group for Christian, or at least family friendly, movies.  Never trust movies given to you in packs.

As you can see from the crew list above, Alan Autry is the auteur responsible for this cinematic effort.  Autry, a former Green Bay Packer (which raises his stock with me) stars as Jake Kincaid, a wandering, mean-eyed cowboy who gets stranded in a small town and ends up working for Emma (Autry's wife Kimberlee).  After that, nothing much happens.

No Reason to Exist
Here is the problem with this film, it has no reason to exist.  Autry pushes his story forward against its will, never allowing anything natural to occur.  We are taken from one scene to the next without an organic flow and no narrative force.  This script is a serious case of "this happened, then this happened" writing.

Autry pulled Jake Kincaid from a TV movie he made in 2002 called THE LEGEND OF JAKE KINCAID.  He apparently thinks everyone knows this 9 year old TV movie because he doesn't bother introducing the audience to his main character.  He appears and there is a sense we're supposed to be impressed.  By the time he starts to fumble around with character development Autry has already lost his audience and lost control of his storyline.

Fancy Home Movie
According to IMDb.com, the budget for this movie was around $500,000.  I have no idea where that money went because it's certainly not on the screen.  If you invested your money in this production, you got a seriously poor return on your cash.  The sets look like tourist trap displays.  If they had shot a scene in a gift shop it wouldn't have looked out of place. The actors are novices for the most part. This was written, directed and stars Autry and he cast his wife in the role opposite him.  This is a really fancy home movie with costumes and predetermined dialog.

Even if you're not terribly discerning and enjoy the usual Christian film nonsense, this is still worth avoiding.  It is just plain bad filmmaking.

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