The eighth movie to be sponsored and produced by retail giant Wal-Mart and Proctor & Gamble, Tackling the Past is about strong family ties.
Tackling the Past (2011) Film Review
Jake Walker (Ryan McPartlin) left behind his small-town lifestyle for big city life of an NFL pro-athlete. His father blames him for an injury his younger son sustained in a high school football game and ever since then, Jake has let more than literal distance separate him from his family. When his dad (Beau Bridges) unexpectedly falls ill, Jake’s brother Dean (Josh Braaten) calls him back home.
Once there, memories assault him. Not just of his high school football games, but also the hometown girl he left behind. Sarah (Katie Carr) is happiest in this place Jake is comfortable to leave behind. She tried big-city life and it didn’t agree with her. After a broken heart, she picked herself up and is now a teacher. Trouble is, neither of them are prepared for what Jake’s return may do to them.
You all might be a little tired of my praise and admiration for these small-budget TV films from Wal-Mart, but they are really quite good. This one deals with skeletons in the family closest and while the plot points can be guessed, the story has something to say. Each movie gets a little bit stronger in that regard although I have my favorites and aren’t as fond of some.
Tackling the Past is actually a really well-made production; it comes across well on screen and plays to our own human nature – in short, it’s a “real” story. The filming is good, and there are several adorable scenes including those between Jake and newcomer Maxwell Perry Cotton. The acting is fine (featuring a lead that actually looks like he could pass as a football player) and while not inspired directly by Christian principles, this does have morals. This series of movies uses the term “family” correctly, and isn’t an oxymoron. Unlike certain other programming, this movie seems to understand the meaning of the word much better than the majority of secular programming. One thing that does get wearisome is the constant blame placed on Jake. It’s almost as if his entire family sees him as the only one in the wrong.
There’s hardly anything second-rate about this movie. It’s just a gem. If you enjoyed Facing the Giants, this is one not to miss out on.