Thr3e
PG-13
Entertainment: +1
Acceptability: -1

FILM SYNOPSIS: When a young seminary student is targeted by a psychopathic killer, he joins forces with a criminal psychologist whose brother was murdered by the same madman. Together they must unravel the killer's riddles and catch him before he strikes again, but the closer they get, the more twisted the path becomes. This heart-pounding thriller will keep you guessing up until the final shocking scene! Based on the best-selling novel by Ted Dekker.

The film is being released by FoxFaith, the newly created faith-based label from Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment LLC. FoxFaith was created to provide compelling entertainment to the Christian audience as well as those seeking quality inspirational and spiritual entertainment. Additional information about specific titles and programs can be found at www.foxfaith.com and www.foxfaithmovies.com.

PREVIEW REVIEW: If youve read my piece on FoxFaith, you know that I think it is important for Christians to be supportive of films they release. Geared to audiences fed up with the gratuitous content prevalent in todays cinema, FoxFaith is attempting to find stories representing several film genres. Steven Feldstein, VP of Corporate and Marketing Communications for FoxFaith, told me, As time goes on the films will improve. Well, improve isnt the right word. Youll see an evolution. Stick with us. Weve got so many different projects going that its really an exciting time.

That said, no studio or distribution company will hit a home run each time up to bat. That goes for FoxFaiths new release, Thr3e. It appears that the writer was highly influenced by the terrifying thrillers Saw I, II and III. Thr3e tells of a mad electronics expert with a sadistic bent and revenge on his evil mind. A brilliant mad mastermind, he is somehow capable of going undetected when strapping bombs to buses, cars and people. Armed with a surveillance system that would cause envy at CIA headquarters, he manages to avoid capture.

Dreary and lethargic, the storyline is devoid of curse words, as if that was the main problem people of faith have with Hollywood productions, but otherwise I see little difference between this and any secular thriller. Perhaps, the objective was not to give viewers a positive or redemptive theme, just an entertaining and scary thriller about a maniac with a penchant for sadistic behavior. The lead is a seminary student, but theres little to no depiction of his faith. Indeed, there is nothing of consequence concerning spiritual matters until the closing scene, when a professor states, as if tacked on to fit the FoxFaith objective, that we need God.

For fans of cat-and-mouse thrillers, it might be of interest. But even they could be disappointed as the villain is less than capable. This guy does blow up a character at the opening, but his subsequent attempts are all met with failure. Hes kind of a loser as movie monsters go, being more Bullwinkles Boris Badenov than Saws Jigsaw.

The acting is adequate, but no one stands out. And its a shame to see the one-time beauty Priscilla Barnes doing an atrocious mugging and scenery chewing combination of Sunset Blvd.'s Norma Desmond and Mommy Dearests Joan Crawford. Ms. Barnes plays a nutty guardian who ties up her little nephew for the slightest behavioral infraction, while the family lives in a dilapidating house, the rooms filled with (can you guess?) tons of old newspapers. Shes a fine actress, but her choices here seem ungoverned by the director.

The characters in general, all supposedly having matriculated at big league universities, come across dumber than a bagful of hammers. Despite several attacks on their lives, they continue to wander off alone, thinking they need no backup, despite the fact that the nutcase has nearly killed them several previous times. As they take off, they turn and give varying takes on the dumbbell standby line, Wait here.

The film lacks any originality and therefore any purpose. Well, I give you, no one cusses not even the villainous Saw knockoff.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Distributor: FoxFaith

Summary
Crude Language: None
Obscene Language: A couple of minor expletives, but no harsh or obscene language.
Profanity: None
Violence: A man is blown up while strapped helplessly in his car. Several other characters suffer the same endangerment. There are lots of explosions; child abuse is depicted, but discreetly more suggestive than graphic. Kidnappings. Lots of chase scenes and slow-mo running from exploding bombs. People are held against their will. A woman is shot in the leg. Blood: Very little.
Sexual Intercourse: None
Nudity: None
Homosexual Conduct: None
Sexually Suggestive Action/Dialog: None
Drug Abuse: None
Other: None
Running Time: 105 minutes
Intended Audience: Older teens and adults

Copyright Preview Family Movie Review (www.previeoOnline.org)