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'Last Ounce of Courage' is weighed down by zealotry: review

September 13, 2012|By Robert Abele
  • School custodian Leonard, played by Charles Graham, speaks to Christian Revere, played by Hunter Gomez in "Last Ounce of Courage."
School custodian Leonard, played by Charles Graham, speaks to Christian… (Veritas Entertainment )

The patriot-packaged "Last Ounce of Courage" has been made with the conviction of true zealots, but also the competence of amateurs.

What starts as the forced but sincere tale of a small-town mayor (Marshall Teague) barely coping with his son's death in combat segues into the oddest of issue movies: a pitched harangue about that yearly yuletide culture-war controversy that Fox News likes to call "the war on Christmas."

Teague's eyes fairly burn with despair at the thought of Christmas decorations outlawed, a student with a Bible chastised by the principal and "Happy Holidays" replacing "Merry Christmas."

But as committed as directors Darrel Campbell (who also wrote) and Kevin McAfee are to depicting the separation of church and state as the first step on the road to America's ruin, "Last Ounce of Courage" isn't likely to appeal to anyone outside of thin-skinned, conspiracy-minded Christians. (The lip service paid to religious freedom for Muslims and Jews feels calculated for "balance.")

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"Last Ounce of Courage." MPAA rating: PG for thematic elements, some war images and brief smoking. Running time: 1 hour, 38 minutes. In general release.

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