On Wings Of Eagles
Directed by - Stephen Shin
Produced by - Mark Bacino, Jim Green, Stephen Lam, Stephen Shin
Rated - PG-13 for Some Violent Images
I went to the theater expecting to see a really good film. What I saw was a really great film. On Wings of Eagles is the epic continuation of Eric Liddell's story, the famed Olympic runner who gave up his glory to teach in his birthplace, China. The first part of his story is told in the classic film Chariots of Fire.
On Wings of Eagles is a very well made film with excellent quality! The production value was very high, with great sets and special effects that could compare to many Hollywood films. Joseph Fiennes, (who happens to be my favorite actor), stars in this film and delivers a strong and believable performance, as he did in Risen last year. As for violence: Several scenes have characters that are mildly bloody, with swollen eyes, cut skin, and wounds. None of this is overly graphic or gruesome, but will likely be disturbing to younger children. (The film is rated PG-13 for the violence). A character is electrocuted, but this happens instantly and is not graphic. Two characters fight hand-to-hand in an intense struggle. Some violence and beatings are implied. None of the violence is overly graphic, that is to say, the filmmakers didn't go out of their way to shock us or include disturbing images. (But I should note that children and those who are very sensitive may find several bloody characters disturbing). And blood drips from a man's nose in several scenes. The language is very mild, with hell and darn it being used once each. A character says stupid once. So, as far as language is concerned, I would consider On Wings of Eagles a clean film. The sexual content is very light. A couple kisses several times. Another couple kisses. A married woman becomes pregnant, and you know when it likely happened. There is no immodesty, unless one would consider shirtless men immodest. Shirtless men are only in a couple scenes though. Overall, the movie is not for younger children due to some of the content. The movie is inspiring and powerful, and is a great finale to the Eric Liddell story. We are very excited to recommend this film. Make sure to watch it soon!
The Only Unfortunate Thing
As I already talked about in the blog article about the film, it was made under strict Chinese supervision. Therefore, the director was forced to make the message of the film somewhat cryptic at times. For instance, one character says that Liddell "... Gave me hope". Hope in what? For those that have watched Chariots of Fire, obviously it was in God. The only line that bothers me is at the end of the film and goes something like this: something about Liddell's friend finally understanding Liddell's "unwavering faith in the goodness of man". At least that's basically what it said. This line is obviously not true, and could be misleading to some. Normally, I would not recommend a film that promotes such a message. But this is different, because sadly the director was not able to fully express Liddell's faith. I really appreciate all he tried to do though! Also, the film is an inspiring tribute to the end of Liddell's life. So forewarning you of this unfortunate line, I encourage you to watch the film. Talk to your children about what Liddell really believed.