Movie Review – If I Had Wings (2013)

Director: Allan Harmon

Stars: Richard Harmon, Jaren Brandt Bartlett, Craig Bierko, Jill Hennessy, Lorne Cardinal, Genevieve Buechner, Jessica Harmon, Dylan Playfair

Alex Taylor (Harmon) dreams of running for the school’s cross-country team but he’s blind, which poses a problem. He trains with his father, but the older man soon finds that he can’t keep up with his son so in order to help Alex achieve his dreams, they find him a running partner, troubled student Brad (Bartlett). The two boys have to overcome their own stubbornness and pride, as well as the attitudes of their competition to form an unlikely friendship.

If I Had Wings is just one of those films that’s good. The performances are good, there’s some dramatic moments that amp up the tension, the leads are great at making you empathise with their characters. Alex has been blind since two and you want him to be able to run because everyone should be able to achieve their dream, and Brad has made some mistakes but is a good kid really, he’s just hot-headed. I liked how they showed their different backgrounds and how both of them reacted to it. The actual running became more of a plot device to show how these two kids can come together and become friends. I thought the parents were cast well too, and the fathers both showed nurturing sides to their sons.

There was only one bit of false tension towards the end of the film, which I felt was manufactured and made me roll my eyes, but other than that it’s a fine film that will have you cheering along as you see the two of them approach the finish line.

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