The Second Chance Parent Guide
Parent Movie Review
Ethan Jenkins (Michael W. Smith) and Jake Sanders (jeff obafemi carr) may be pastors for sister churches, but the work they do is as different as night and day.
Ethan is Caucasian, with a comfortable income. He actively pursues a musical ministry in front of the TV cameras operated from a well-heeled suburban edifice called The Rock. Busy with recording, marketing and book writing, the popular singer/preacher still makes time to sign autographs for friendly fans.
Meanwhile, African-American Jake tries to keep body and soul together for the poor and homeless who surround his dilapidated sanctuary aptly named The Second Chance. His unheralded efforts to feed the hungry, and teach job skills to the unemployed are continually interrupted by addicts, hookers and gangsters.
The two men are also at odds about the best way to contribute to the inner-city outreach program. When a simmering argument over the value of giving money or volunteering time publicly boils over (with a few uttered profanities), the ecclesiastical governing board mediates by assigning both head-strong leaders to labor together in the ghetto.
At first, neither is sure who has been punished more. For Ethan, just going into the ‘hood puts him (and his expensive car) in danger. Jake on the other hand, is frustrated by being saddled with the fancy-clothed man who doesn’t know how to roll up his sleeves and get dirty. While Ethan broaches the task with some distaste, Jake seems to be savoring a certain devilish delight.
As the pair hit the streets, the clergymen try to make a dent in the community’s problems, including prostitution, alcoholism, gang violence and drug trafficking. Well intentioned, but with opposing opinions about possible solutions, they each apply their own methods to such issues as begging, petty theft, abortion counseling, beatings, and acts of extortion. Whereas Ethan’s naive compassion makes him a soft touch, Jake’s tough love winds up putting them at the wrong end of a loaded pistol. (These depictions, although never gratuitous, may present some concerns for younger viewers.)
While these experiences may not change the world, they do prove to be life altering for both ministers as they struggle to accept each other, let go of their personal prejudices, and serve their needy parishioners.
Featuring the Grammy Award winning Michael W. Smith, the movie is surprisingly light on musical numbers, and instead relies more heavily upon the singer’s acting talents. Taking a serious look at the challenges of underprivileged neighborhood as well as the dilemmas of finding funding and one-on-one help, the script focuses on the importance of unity and the strength of humility. The strong Christian message will likely appeal most to the already converted, yet The Second Chance does offer a reminder to all that the answers to life’s hardest questions are seldom black and white.
Starring Michael W. Smith, jeff carr. Theatrical release February 16, 2006. Updated February 13, 2012
The Second Chance
Rating & Content Info
Why is The Second Chance rated PG-13? The Second Chance is rated PG-13 by the MPAA for some drug references.
This Christian movie about life on the inner-city streets covers such issues as drug trafficking, prostitution, substance abuse and gang violence. While most of these depictions are brief, they do include a gang related beating where some blood is shown, some characters being threatened with a gun, the mention of pimps and abortion, as well as a young child being used to purchase drugs. Addictions portrayed include alcoholics drinking from bottles, a character identified as a junkie, and a man with a passion for lottery tickets. A few mild swear words and some racial slurs are heard throughout, most of which are uttered by a pastor.
Page last updated February 13, 2012
More parents' guide for The Second Chance after the break...
The Second Chance Parents' Guide
Jake accuses Ethan’s congregation of releasing themselves of responsibility for the poor and the needy by donating cash instead of volunteering their time. Has he judged these people fairly? Why is it sometimes easier to give money than time? Which do you think is the most important in helping underprivileged people?
Do you think Jake and Ethan both suffer from pride and prejudice? If so, what are the differences in the way they express these feelings?
In the movie, a mentally challenged man named Sonny (Henry Haggard) tries to say sorry to someone he has offended. How do his actions affect those who witness his apology? How does the simplicity of his character add complexity to the service he performs? What can you learn from this example?
The most recent home video release of The Second Chance movie is July 17, 2006. Here are some details…
Audiences will get The Second Chance to see this limited release film with this DVD release. Audio commentary is provided by director Steve Taylor and actors Michael W. Smith and
jeff obafemi carr. Other extras include deleted scenes (with commentary by Steve Taylor), The Second Chance FAQ File, and the theatrical trailer. Also provided are a behind-the-scenes featurette, Beyond the making of The Second Chance, the J. Don Ferguson’s Story and Action!(presenting at the Gospel Music Awards). As well, Michael W. Smith performs in the music video All in the Serve.
Related home video titles:
The independent film, Diary of a City Priest tells the story of a Catholic minister who also services in an inner city neighborhood. Another film featuring the vocal talents of Christian musical artists is The Gospel. The message that, “God is a God of Second Chances” appears as well in the crisp animation, Jonah: A Veggie Tales Movie.