30 April 2012 | boblipton
Fighting the Fire
The Hallmark Channel has a winner in this very slow-starting but finally compelling movie of how young girls redeem themselves at a Youth Correctional Facility. The movie starts out looking a lot like a standard girls in prison movie -- without the usual cheap-movie lesbian subtext -- as Q'orianka Kilcher winds up in prison and is tempted by the safety and rewards of a gang and the self-respect of joining a firefighting group. In many ways this movie is a throwback to the prison reform movies of the 1930s.
Although Cuba Gooding Jr. is the big name for this movie and Ms. Kilcher the lead, the script shows us other girls, to illustrate the various choices and phases of the process. DeWanda Wise has the most interestingly written role and performs well.
Although there is little out of the ordinary in this movie, its earnest good will and insistence on the basics of real story-telling -- the change of human character -- make it a superior work that made my eyes tear up towards the end.