TheRedemptionofHenry1

If you like westerns then you’ll like “The Redemption of Henry Myers”. It is a good Western in the classic sense, complete with gunfights, damsels in distress, and yes, even an antihero in the Clint Eastwood mode. There are plenty of nice twists and turns to keep you on your toes, and a whole plethora of characters to love and to hate. There’s even a nod to the classic film “Shane,” and arguably maybe too big of a nod, but this is a Western, so strap on your six-shooter and come along for the ride.

Synopsis: Henry Myers (Drew Waters) lives a hard life, and he gets through life on the frontier anyway he can…even if it means robbing a bank. His latest heist goes wrong, and his partners betray him and leave him for dead. Henry survives, thanks to the extraordinary kindness of a widow (Erin Bethea) and her two children (Jaden Roberts, Ezra Proch), and influenced by this family, Henry begins to question the choices he’s made in his life. Just when things begin to make sense again, it’s all ripped away when his old partners show up.

I really appreciated the depth of characterization from the actors involved. Drew Waters, who has been racking up credits in many film and television shows, takes the rein of the main character in stride. The role takes him through the entire arc of a character, from bad to good, from death to life, from emptiness to fullness, and Waters handles all the emotions with aplomb. As the widow Marilyn, Erin Bethea, does an excellent job of handling the kids and this stranger who falls into their lives, and all the emotions that go along with this. (Most viewers may best remember her as Kirk Cameron’s wife in “Fireproof.”) And the two children do great work and their protrayals are realistic and to the point. A special thumbs up to Jaden Roberts as Laura, who will most likely steal your heart away (and who provides most of the moments of lightness and laughs). I think much credit is due director Clayton Miller, and we can expect great things in the years to come from him. (I remember seeing his short film “Forgive Me” several years ago, and it deservedly ran away with many awards from the various festivals where it appeared. Seek this film out for a viewing – mature audiences only.) The cinematography is topnotch in “The Redemption of Henry Myers,” and it is quite obvious that great attention to detail was taken to insure the best camera point of views. And included along the way are nice visual symbolism within the props and the set design.

There are plenty of Bible stories shared within the film, and they are inserted in a way that makes them a part of the story and not at all heavy-handed. This is a very nice touch. And the “redemption” (yes – a conversion moment) was handled in one of the best ways I’ve ever seen in a film (and this coming from someone who rarely appreciates these moments in a film). It is slid into the film in a very honest way, again very much a part of the storyline, and handled in a very realistic manner.

Things get wrapped up nicely and in a very satisfying way (even though I was looking for a different outcome, and maybe this would have felt more authentic? but surprises are nice, too). The John Williams-esque music is what would be expected in a sprawling Western, and I really appreciate the end credit song: “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VzGAYNKDyIU), a great song in its own right. All-in-all, two thumbs up for relative newcomer Clayton Miller and “The Redemption of Henry Myers.” If you like a good Western, you’ll like this – a good Western.

World Premiere March 23 at 9/8c pm on The Hallmark Movie Channel.

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