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HARDFLIP (2012) Movie Review

  • By Cara Buckley
  • 01 Jun, 2012

2 Corinthians 5:17 says, “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (NLT)

A teenage skater struggles with abandonment issues. His single mother who is working two jobs to make ends meet keeps a dark secret – that she doesn’t have much time to live. His estranged father throws himself into his work to fill the lonely void in his heart.
Caleb Jones is an angry, confused teenager who finds himself suddenly alone when his mother dies and his guilt-ridden father, Jack, attempts to help him the only way he knows how. Money. Even though it meets Caleb’s material needs, Jack continuously misses the spiritual and emotional needs of his son. All Caleb needs is reassurance of his father’s love through a steady presence in his life, which is the one thing Jack fails to provide. After the death of Caleb’s mother, Jack has no choice but to take Caleb into his care, but Caleb can sense his heart is not in it.
Caleb finds himself without a positive influence in his life. So, he turns to a skater gang and falls prey to their scheme. After losing $400 he runs out of ideas and attempts suicide. When that doesn’t work, he finally turns to the homeless missionary who he ignores throughout the weeks prior. It takes one conversation with the messenger to learn the power of forgiveness.
Caleb takes that lesson into every aspect of his life. He forgives his father, his mother, and Ryder, the skater that cheated him. He stops blaming other people for his problems, puts his trust in God, and takes responsibility for his life. This enables him put away his anger and find a fair, justified solution to his problem with Ryder. Everything else falls into place.
This story inspires and disappoints me at the same time. On one hand, it addresses a terrific point about our ministry to those who are struggling. Before we can share the Word of God, the ear must be first willing to hear it. The thing that’s wrong with this picture is that he lives eighteen years without a positive role model. No young person should have to consider suicide as long as we are fulfilling our purpose, as long as we show everyone the same love and grace that Christ showed us.
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