The Mark (2012) – Review

2 1/2 Stars

Unless your familiar with the PureFlix releasing label, it may come as a surprise that The Mark is a ‘Faith Based’ action picture with heavy overtones. This proves to be a gift and a curse, the film looks professional with all its presumably large budget on the screen. On the other hand awkward snippets of dialogue regarding religious beliefs and values are haphazardly infused into the already corny script. There is absolutely nothing new to be found here, The Mark is Passenger 57 as envisioned by Kirk Cameron. In theory or even in the pre-production phase, that is a perfectly acceptable premise. However, the finished product moves in fits and never attains a fluid progression from a narrative standpoint.

As the story begins it is made abundantly clear ‘The Rapture’ is upon us and we are all living obliviously. Except for one man who envisions himself the great savior of the world after the economic and religious collapse that is foretold to take place soon. Chad Turner (Craig Sheffer) an Iraq war veteran turned security expert has unknowingly been implanted with a computer chip which holds the power to change the world for whoever controls it. Mercenary Joseph Pike (Gary Daniels) has been hired by a shadowy corporate figurehead to acquire the chip at any cost within a certain timeframe. So Pike and his goon squad hijacks a plane carrying both Turner and Mr. Cooper (Eric Roberts). Cooper is on the journey to see that Turner arrives safely into the hands of his employers at the Avanti corporation. It is then up to Turner to stay alive and reach his final destination to save humanity.

I don’t want to sound too cynical about The Mark, it is clearly the best ‘Faith Based’ film ever released in the direct-to DVD market place. I just would have preferred a more efficient melding of message, themes and story. However credit must be given to director James Chankin, who is a capable filmmaker the movie is slick and paced well. I hope he gets the chance to work with a better script and really let loose. Then there is the curious case of Craig Sheffer, an actor most remember from A River Runs Through It, newly bulked and sporting rugged features. Shaffer should be headlining direct-to-DVD action flicks, he has more onscreen authority than reigning B-Movie champ Cuba Gooding Jr. What audience were the producers aiming at? The themes are those typically found in religious-family friendly fare but the opening action set-piece and plane hijacking is for the teen and adult crowds. I don’t think anyone but the most undemanding viewer of faith based films will be interested in this recycled amalgam of cliches.

Director: James Chankin
Stars: Craig Sheffer, Eric Roberts, Gary Daniels

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