“Unbroken: Path to Redemption” (Pure Flix)
By Catholic News Service
More artful than many faith-motivated movies, this sequel and conversion story continues the biography of Olympic runner-turned-war-hero Louie Zamperini (likable Samuel Hunt).
Having survived the downing of his plane over the Pacific, a long period adrift at sea and torturous captivity by the Japanese, events related in the 2014 original, helmed by Angelina Jolie, Air Force bombardier Zamperini returns home, goes on the road to sell war bonds and falls for a cheerful and devout Florida native (Merritt Patterson). But all the while he is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. Troubled by nightmares and visions in which his chief tormentor (David Sakurai) returns to haunt him, he falls prey to alcoholism. Though his wife is patient and his older brother (Bobby Campo) helpful, it will take no less a personage than the Rev. Billy Graham (played by his grandson Will) to straighten things out.
Catholic viewers may have mixed feelings about the protagonist’s departure from the church in which he was raised. But director Harold Cronk’s drama — adapted, like its predecessor, from Laura Hillenbrand’s 2010 best-seller — is both appealing in its promotion of faith and forgiveness and suitable for a wide audience.
Mature themes, scenes of domestic violence, a vague scatological reference. The Catholic News Service classification is A-II — adults and adolescents. The Motion Picture Association of America rating is PG-13 — parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.