Christian Movie Interviews, News and Reviews

5 Reasons You Should Watch Run The Race

  • Michael Foust
5 Reasons You Should Watch <em>Run The Race</em>

Zach Truett is a talented high school quarterback with college football aspirations.

That’s his ticket out of his small town. It’s also the door to a better future for him and his brother, Dave.

They lost their mother to illness. Their father, an alcoholic, abandoned them.

“I’m gonna get us out of here,” Zach tells his brother.

But life doesn’t always go as planned. An injury sidelines Zach, threatening his goal of getting a college scholarship. And his father, the man he hates, wants back in his life. Maybe Zach will be stuck in this small town the rest of his life.

Then again, maybe the Christian faith of his childhood -- the faith he abandoned -- can bring hope.

The faith-based film Run the Race (PG) opens in theaters Feb. 22.

Here are five reasons you should watch it:

Photo courtesy: Roadside Attractions

1. It’s the Tebows’ Inaugural Film

1. It’s the Tebows’ Inaugural Film

Brothers Tim and Robby Tebow have a small on-screen part in the film, although their biggest role is as executive producers. Robby Tebow says he and his brother had “probably 25 to 30 scripts” offered to them before they read the script for Run the Race. It was the “right script” and the “right opportunity,” he said.  

“It was something that we felt called to do,” Robby Tebow told Crosswalk.

It is not based on their lives, although the theme of brotherhood did resonate, he added. 

Run the Racelikely won’t be their last film, either. They consider themselves movie buffs. 

“Moving forward, I think both of us definitely want to be a part of more things that impact and tell a story and that can be inspirational and can do good but also begood,” Robby Tebow said, emphasizing the importance of a film’s quality. “It wasn’t about being in the movie business. It was about telling a story and making a really good movie.”

Photo courtesy: Roadside Attractions

2. It’s a Cut Above Most Faith-Based Films

2. It’s a Cut Above Most Faith-Based Films

An embargo prevents me from saying too much, but Run the Raceis better than most faith-based films. It has a different feel. Robby Tebow said it best: “It’s real. It’s emotional. It’s gritty.” It’s inspiring. It also has an ending that I wasn’t expecting. I don’t know what mainstream critics will think -- they didn’t even like The Passion of The Christ -- but I’m guessing moviegoers will enjoy it. The two actors who play Zach and Dave (Tanner Stine and Evan Hofer, respectively) are impressive. 

You don’t have to be a sports fan to like the story, either.Run the Raceuses football and track as a vehicle to discuss larger themes, such as faith, love and hope.

Chris Dowling, who directed the 2014 movie Where Hope Grows, helmed Run the Race

Photo courtesy: Roadside Attractions

3. It’s So Good it Took 15 Years to Make

3. It’s So Good it Took 15 Years to Make

Well, sort of. Jake McEntire was a student at Dallas Baptist University 15 years ago when he sensed God leading him to write story with a spiritual element. That story turned into Run the Race. It was partially inspired by his relationship with his own brothers.

“I wanted to write a movie about brothers growing up and trying to go for their dreams and the obstacles that they have to face,” McEntire told Crosswalk. “I wanted to show a real-life struggle of brothers having to root for one another and encourage one another. And I thought it'd be an interesting dynamic if one of the brothers believed in God and one of the brothers didn't. How do you pursue success with two different worldviews?”

McEntire initially thought he would play one of the brothers. But by the time it was filmed, he was in his 30s and no longer looked like a high schooler.

Photo courtesy: Roadside Attractions

4. It Features Top-Shelf Talent

4. It Features Top-Shelf Talent

Mykelti Williamson -- best known for playing the shrimp-crazy character Bubba in Forrest Gump-- plays a football coach in Run the Race. Frances Fisher (Unforgiven, Titanic) plays the surrogate mother of Zach and Dave. McEntire, the writer of Run the Race, said he met Fisher while on the set of another movie, Red Wing(2013), in which they both had a role.

“That's when I first started talking to her about Run the Race,” McEntire said. “I told her the whole story. She said, ‘Jake, if you ever get funded, I'll show up for you.’ And she did.”

Caleb Castille, who played the lead role in the faith-based film Woodlawn, also has a part.

Photo courtesy: Roadside Attractions

5. It’s Gospel-Centric

5. It’s Gospel-Centric

Zach blames God for his mother dying and his alcoholic father abandoning them. His brother Dave, though, sees life differently. Dave is a Christian. The plot thickens when Zach falls for a girl, Ginger, who also is a believer. Neither Dave nor Ginger gives up on Zach. 

“I hope a lot of non-believers go and see this movie because I think it's an honest movie,” Trey Brunson, an executive producer and the communications director at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Ky., told Crosswalk. “Jake and I both wanted to portray the gospel clearly -- what it means to surrender to Jesus.”

The film, Brunson said, has at least three spiritual themes: 1) Christians running after and pursuing their non-believing friends and family members, 2) Believers displaying the love of Christ on a daily basis, and, 3) Christians, such as the coach in the film, investing in someone’s life.

“You need people to walk with you and fight with you,” Brunson said, referencing individuals like Zach who are facing trials. “There's hope for people whose lives have fallen apart, and his name is Jesus.”

Visit RunTheRaceMovie.com. Run the Race is rated PG for thematic content and some teen partying.  

Michael Foust is a freelance writer. Visit his blog, MichaelFoust.com.

Photo courtesy: Roadside Attractions

Video courtesy: Run The Race





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