Clancy is a surprising film. A first glance at the title and poster art, and one gets the idea that we will be sitting down to a fuzzy-wuzzy, feel-good, Disney-like, family fare, Hallmark kind-of-picture – which is not necessarily a bad thing (see review of War Horse) – but is just not a description of Clancy.
This is a fairly gritty film about an 11-year-old (title character Clancy played winningly by newcomer Christina Dawn Fougnie), who runs away from home so her drug-addicted mother is busted and put into rehab to get healthy. Not the best means to an end, especially considering the types of people she will live with “on the street.” (In other words: kids – don’t try this at home.) Clancy meets up with a homeless war veteran (Nick Best – played by Jefferson Moore), who reluctantly takes her under his wing to look after while she struggles to survive.
There are many plot twists within the film (another nice surprise), involving a corrupt Mayor, a good cop, a Police Chief somewhere in-between, and other bad guys and criminals. And these nice twists and turns make for a well-paced film that only slows down during several montage scenes. This two-hour film could easily have been cut down and tightened up by losing a montage scene or two; but otherwise, the film packs quite a bit of story into its 120 minutes.
The two leads do great jobs in their roles, and their chemistry really comes across. You can tell they really enjoyed working together, and it will be nice to see what the future holds for newcomer Fougnie. Mr. Moore also wrote and directed the film, and Clancy is a nice addition to his credits, which include 1 Message, The Perfect Gift (also with Christina Dawn Fougnie), The Perfect Stranger, and its sequel Another Perfect Stranger. The supporting cast is quite well, too, except for a miss-turn here and there in a couple of supporting roles that seem too shallow at times or too over-the-top at others – not consistent at all.
The biggest question for Clancy is with its ending. No spoilers here, but the main protagonist is switched on us at the end, and leaves us with a not-so-satisfying (although realistic), and somewhat confusing, finish. I would like to have seen things wrapped up a little differently, but over all, this is a well-produced film, and well-worth the cost of your nickel to put into your collection. Clancy: a nice surprise of a film.
The Christian Worldview:
Clancy has a strong Christian, moral worldview. Nick is shown getting angry; he is involved in a fight; he has rather intense war remembrances; and memories of a past drinking problem. Clancy’s mother is an abuser and addict, and Clancy wears the scars of these transgressions. There is minor gunplay and shooting in the film, as well as a tragic fire. Clancy’s life mantra is “Bad things are always going to happen, but being miserable doesn’t have to,” and this is played out as a major theme in the film.
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