Faith of Our Fathers: Believer and Doubting Thomas Bond En Route to Vietnam War Memorial
While serving behind enemy lines in Vietnam, GIs Steven George (Sean McGowan) and Edward Adams (Scott Whyte), became best friends even though the former was a devout Christian while the latter was a Doubting Thomas. Sadly, they both perished in battle in 1969, and each left behind a child that neither ever got to know.
Fast-forward 25 years and we discover that the soldiers’ children have followed in their fathers’ footsteps. Steven’s offspring John (Kevin Downes) is also a devout Christian like his late father, and Edward’s son Wayne (David A.R. White) inherited his father’s disdain for organized religion.
John has grown up to be stable and successful and is planning to marry his fiancée, Cynthia (Candace Cameron Bure). In contrast, Wayne has grown up to be an underachiever who has had more than his share of run-ins with the law.
Since John lives in California and Wayne is in Mississippi, the two have never met. However, John informs his fiancée that, before he marries her, he wants to learn everything he can about his late father. That quest leads him to Wayne, who has saved the letters that his father mailed home during the war in Vietnam.
The two decide to read the letters en route to Washington, D.C. where they plan to visit the Vietnam War Memorial. What ensues is an eventful road trip in which Christ and the Devil do battle for Wayne’s soul. Using flashbacks, the film alternates between the sons’ arguments over faith during their trip and portrayals of their fathers’ discussions about Christianity during their fateful tour of duty overseas.
This is the basis of Faith of Our Fathers, a modern parable directed and co-written by Corey Scott (Hidden Secrets). While the movie does feature wholesome family fare, it’s occasional proselytizing (“Know that Jesus loves you and that you can trust Him.”) is distracting, but not so overpowering that it spoils the movie.
Look for Born Again Stephen Baldwin in a scene-stealing performance as Sergeant Mansfield, the only character to appear both in the flashbacks and the present-day scenes. In 1969, we find him chastising Steven for preparing the men in his unit to die. But, he’s singing a different tune 25 years later when he conveniently intervenes in a critical moment in the picture.
Very Good (***). Rated PG-13 for brief violence. Running time: 95 minutes. Distributor: Pure Flix Entertainment.