Slow Fade (2013) – By Misty Layne

“Slow Fade” is another offering by Bridgestone Multimedia Group, a group that focuses on family and faith oriented films. I’ve watched several of their films this year and they tend to be hit or miss. Unfortunately, “Slow Fade” is one of the misses.

“Slow Fade” tells the story of Thomas who lives with his single mother. His story starts with him as a loving child, then flashes to a few scenes of him playing what looks to be “War” with some other children then him around the age of 10 playing video games. Next we flash forward to Thomas as a teenager, full of anger, swigging wine coolers and listening to heavy metal. He yells at his mother constantly and hangs around with his friends. Then he learns that his mother doesn’t have the money for rent and while out one day makes a split second decision to mug an elderly man. He instantly regrets his decision and steps up to pay the price but the man declines to press charges and instead becomes a mentor and father figure who tells Thomas of God’s love for Thomas and all of mankind. There’s also a romance thrown in for extra measure as well as a friend’s drug overdose.

The biggest issue here is the melodrama. The film seems to be saying that because Thomas played “War” with his buddies and video games as a child it led him down a dark twisted path that ended with wine coolers and smoking. I’m not so sure that’s how reality actually works. Yes, there are tons of outside influences in a child’s life that can cause them to act out but to blame this entirely on video games seems a bit over dramatic. Worse is the fact that when Thomas turns into the angsty teen, we find out that he’s actually 18…Thomas seems to have missed out on the memo that the angsty teen phase tends to happen much earlier. His turn to devout Christian also is melodramatic in the way that one moment he’s drinking beer with his buds and the next he’s attending church and telling his friends that the way they’re living is wrong.

Nothing here seems that realistic. Even Thomas’ relationship with Jessie who eventually becomes his girlfriend his overly emotionally fraught. High drama works in some cases but not typically in scenarios of this nature. “Slow Fade” is another by-the-numbers Christian drama that seems aimed at teens with the point of teaching them that the slightest missteps can cause the greatest consequences.

Bridgestone has much better options in their film library and I’d go with one of those rather than this one. If you’d like to learn more however, visit the Bridgestone website or the “Slow Fade” Facebook page.