Unsung Hero

Unsung Hero
Unsung Hero
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Joel Smallbone plays his own father in Unsung Hero but that child grew up to become Joel. He even has the same jacket as his dad wore in this movie thirty years ago. Take that, Marvel Cinematic Universe! Moreover, David is portrayed by none other than Smallbone himself and it’s just too good for words. The rest of the cast does an impressive job as well.

A family unit from Australia, in case you do not know who the Smallbones are, then maybe you know either Rebecca St. James or the Christian pop duo for KING & COUNTRY. Those musicians come from the same gene pool — both having Grammy records, as we already said. In their early years, they were two broke kids with a father who did not have a job and risked everything by moving to America from Down Under.

So one of them turns out to have an amazing voice after all—everything else is history. Not every road to discovery is smooth though. When Unsung Hero isn’t occasionally embracing cheesiness with both hands you might find it worthwhile cheering on the Smallbone family onscreen especially if you’re surrounded by loved ones during this viewing occasion. Consider this film as something similar to Ordinary Angels which is equally emotional and rated PG. You will need double feature for a whole family if you have enough tissue paper.

Some truly terrifying films have been coming out of Australia lately such as You’ll Never Find Me and Monolith; however, Unsung Hero is nowhere near that kind of subject matter – dark and gripping. It’s only fear of failing here anyway. Australian or not, any person can relate to David’s palpable struggles with career troubles and financial issues.

His face writhes in terror when he walks into his house after a hard day where he finds an incredible surprise party that involves his seven children (yes really), wife Helen (who also happens to be pregnant), plus both sets of parents (his mother is played by Terry O’Quinn from Lost, who dons a pretty good accent). And the icing on the cake comes when his wife Helen (played by Daisy Betts of Chicago Fire) tells him that she is pregnant. My God! What on earth should David do? Some people can’t even handle one child in this era leave alone nearly ten.

Unsung Hero looks to be billed as a religious movie, but what your beliefs are shouldn’t matter when you choose where to sit at the theater this weekend. Faith has power and it’s very much there in Smallbone’s family story in Unsung Hero; however, this film works because it shows how they got through day by day until they became stars.

For instance, after moving into an old house somewhere in rural America, the Smallbones find themselves doing yard work and cleaning houses for money following a chance encounter with their neighbors while David tries to reestablish himself as a moderately successful music promoter again. One such house they stumble upon for cleaning services happens to belong Eddie Degarmo (Jonathan Jackson), famous musician and somebody whom David keeps watch over from time to time. It might grow into a business deal someday…

Until then, however, Smallbones’ visit to a local church and their encounters with the priest Jed Albright (Friday Night Lights star Lucas Black who shines in this role he seems born for) and his wife Kay (Full House star Candace Cameron Bure who looks every bit the part she’s playing), will warm your heart – and drive you insane when the stubborn David usually turns down their assistance because of pride. For instance Helen later on is able to give birth to another baby boy at a $6000 fee for the hospital expenses. This is followed by an amazing scene where after learning that Jed secretly paid the bill to help them out; David gets right up in Jed’s face. It’s tense moments like these that make a traditional family movie tick.

Unsung Hero also shows how Joel Smallbone can star in a film apart from his success as one-half of for KING & COUNTRY in real life. The film goes into exciting overdrive as Joel’s sister Rebecca (played exceptionally well by young Australian-American actress Kirrilee Bergee) accidentally reveals to the community what a wonderful singer she is. Berger is soon going places as her own music career is blossoming too, and it’s intense drama watching her and dad David navigate through America’s southern music industry.

Joel Smallbone produces another standout show in scenes where Rebecca tries so hard to get an agent but still struggles while at it while her dad Dave played by Joel loses faith and therefore gives her a reality check shouting “You’ll never be enough!” Perhaps this is his expression of some of his broken dreams; something which can resonate with many of us. Though Unsung Hero may be said to be family-oriented, it does not all go smooth along its path. Maybe some corny cinematographic stuff could have been toned down but Unsung Hero remains inspiring little song & dance harmless

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