A Father’s Legacy
On the run from the law, a young man searching for his father forces his way into the life of a secluded old man in the woods. As the days pass and the secrets about their past are revealed, they learn that they might not have been looking for each other…but they may have been brought together for a reason.
A film that contains both a powerful story and interesting characters is always well worth the time, and A Father’s Legacy is one of these movies. Billy is an elderly man who, in the beginning of the picture, walks to a place in his home where he can see the dawn rising, and he prays to the Lord because “Cynthia made me promise to.” His wife has passed and he seems to have little to live for as he prays, “You can take me anytime you want. I’m ready.”
Enter a young man named Nick– he forces his way into Billy’s house with a gun. Nick is wounded, bleeding, and the plot reveals that he has just robbed a warehouse for several thousand dollars. He makes Billy sit down and insists on hiding out in his house. After Nick sits down on Billy’s couch, hopeless and heart-heavy Billy says, “I don’t appreciate you bleeding on my couch.”
Billy gives Nick some medicine and bandages to bandage up his wound. Later, when Nick falls asleep on the couch, Billy slips his keys from his pocket and heads toward the door to flee. But when he hears Nick, in his sleep, talking about his father, asking why he left, Billy winds up feeling some sympathy for him and Billy remains.
The acting is superb, with Tobin Hill portraying Billy and Jason Mac playing Nick. Tobin plays the character of Billy as being a no-nonsense man, a bit cranky, but with a heart of compassion all the same. And Jason Mac plays the character of Nick as surly and yet vulnerable.
Although Nick still threatens Billy a few times, Nick comes to realize that Billy has no intention of turning him in or trying to escape. In fact, he invites Nick to go fishing at the lake by his home, and it will be a new experience for Nick who has never fished before. Billy isn’t shy about telling Nick what a man should do in certain situations, and Nick begins to open up about the missing father whom he never knew.
As the story progresses we learn that Nick has a Christian wife, Jean, who encouraged him to pray. He had told her he would be away for a week or so to work at a job with a friend. In a cute scene, a flashback, Jean blindfolds Nick and then feeds him some baby food. “This tastes like baby food!” Nick says with a look of repugnance on his face. “It is,” replies Jean. “And why do you think I’d give you that?” So, we learn that the motive behind the robbery was Nick’s lack of work and his concern for taking care of his wife and the child that is on the way.
When some thugs show up at Billy’s house, trying to coerce him into selling his land to a business owner in town, Nick surprises them by showing up with his gun and he chases the assailants away.
At one point in the movie, when Nick is showing an attitude, Billy says, “Your daddy did a bang-up job on you.” Nick gets angry and Billy says, “Is that a sensitive subject for you?” In a way that didn’t seem possible, Nick and Billy begin to slowly form a bond and to understand each other. Billy has regrets for some decisions in his past, including having a son himself that he didn’t get to raise. And Nick sees in Billy a man he wishes he could have had for a father.
Billy won’t let Nick forget about robbing the warehouse and tells him that sooner he later he has to “own it”, and to face the consequences. The movie does a good job in driving home the theme of doing the right thing and accepting the consequences of our decisions. And the film features both men looking at the Bible and Psalms 18:6 is quoted, which says, “In my distress I called upon the Lord, and cried unto my God: he heard my voice out of his temple, and my cry came before him, even into his ears.” And when Nick apologizes to Billy at one point for going through his things, it is obvious that he has grown as a man.
There are a few twists by the film’s conclusion, but this movie contains a satisfying ending which definitely lives up to its title. The character of Billy is a bit gruff, and there are some uses of mild language, but the theme of doing the right thing and the need for good fathers to guide their children is nicely demonstrated in this movie. It has merited our Dove seal for Ages 12+.
The Dove Take:
This is a wonderful story about two unlikely people who form a bond, and it is entertaining yet educational regarding the important themes of life.