Even more lessons are to be found within the brief running time of this film. Josh Lucas (TV's The Firm) plays camp instructor Colonel Manley coolly, calmly, credibly. His performance is what binds the film and the generations within it together (all the adult actors in the film bring their A-game to their roles, something I greatly appreciated). Manley has history with Jimmy's father, and the movie puts them back working with each other and forgiving each other admirably. Manley also has to let Jimmy know that winning is not the goal at Space Camp, but that winning as a team or losing as a team is THE lesson to take home. Manley's superior is an administrator played by Danny Glover (Shooter), whose 'big speech' in the movie is out of place considering the urgency of the situation, but who nonetheless adds the important question of why American kids don't have the desire to excel at Science and Mathematics they once did, or in the numbers of their peers around the globe. On that note, it stands to this film's credit that in no way does it set a Christian worldview at odds with space exploration or a scientific education (but again, that's a wonderful post-viewing discussion point).

Space Warriors is not a "Christian film," per se, but the film does not shy away from Christianity, particularly on the soundtrack. Britt Nicole's "All This Time" makes an appearance, and as tobyMac's "Unstoppable" plays over the closing party and end credits, the lyrics, "To live is Christ, to die is gain, we're not afraid, we're not afraid" are the last words heard. Director Sean McNamara, known for his work in pre-teen television, likewise directed the faith-based film Soul Surfer.

Space Warriors works best if enjoyed multi-generationally. As such, I watched it with my 9-year-old son, who I figured would like it, and my 7-year-old daughter, who I wasn't so sure would get into it. Both loved it, have watched it again, and have been open to interesting discussions about the characters, themes, and talking points several times since.

Walden Family Theater is a series of Friday night movies on Hallmark Channel for families to enjoy together. Space Warriors premieres on the Hallmark Channel on Friday evening, May 31, at 8 p.m. ET/PT, 7 p.m. CT.

CAUTIONS: 

  • Language/Profanity: None
  • Alcohol/Smoking/Drugs: None
  • Sex/Nudity: None. One brief, innocent kiss and hug between teens; some minor flirting; 
  • Violence/Crime: One team sabotages another team's project; two main characters lie their ways into space camp and face consequences when discovered
  • Religion/Morals/Other: Astronauts at risk of running out of oxygen; at one point it appears rescue has arrived too late; teams at space camp are told that winning is not the point, that they are "here to learn that you win as a team, you lose as a team"; speech is delivered from a parent to a student that "sorry won't cut it this time" and "it's what we do that determines who we are"; humility is an important theme as adults must decide to forgive and not hold grudges; divorced couple works together to discipline/encourage their son; movie ends with the possibility of the couple reconciling (though this is not a major plot point nor is it certain)

Publication date: May 29, 2013