Catch a Fire
- compiled by Jeffrey Overstreet Copyright Christianity Today International
- 2006 1 Jan
Catch a Fire is the latest film from director Phillip Noyce, who brought us Patriot Games and The Quiet American, and it gives the talented young actor Derek Luke (Antwone Fisher, Pieces of April) his most demanding role yet.
Fire illustrates the troubled journey of Patrick Chamusso, a black man who endured persecution from the oppressive South African government in the early '80s, and then went on to participate in a violent uprising.
Christian film critics are cheering for the inspiring message of Chamusso's story, but they're not so impressed with the movie itself.
Christopher Lyon (Plugged In) says, "It's a powerful story well told … [The filmmakers do] much more than just make a grand political statement. Or just provide a two-hour history lesson. … [I]t registers on a personal level. … Catch a Fire ignites our God-given desires for justice, equality, freedom and peace."
David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says, "The film is an intelligent, if unevenly compelling, truth-based drama. … [F]rom an emotional standpoint … Catch a Fire never ignites." But he adds, "Luke continues to establish himself as one of the best young actors today."
Most mainstream critics are turning in positive reviews, but a few opinions—such as that published in The New York Times—describe it as a mess.