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With such recognizable stars as Stephen Baldwin and Eric Roberts in it,
Six, The Mark Unleashed has quite a bit more production values in it
than you normally get from a Christian film. Note the producer is Paul
Crouch, Jr. of the Crouch family of Trinity Broadcasting Network so
it's not like they're short of funds.
The creative end of this film is Kevin Downes and David A.R. White who are the Ben Affleck and Matt Damon of the Christian film world. Note their respective credits, you'll find it almost exclusively in that genre.
Both of these two are getting a little old to be playing juveniles although Downes has quite the baby face, just like Matt Damon. They're a couple of petty criminals who get caught with some stolen items, but more important than that, they're caught with a counterfeit mark. The mark of course is the mark of the anti-Christ and it's a computer chip planted for thought control. That's an automatic death sentence.
In prison they're tossed in with Jeffrey Dean Morgan who neither buys into the thought control of the world 'Leader' who's come to power or with the Christian apocalyptic theology. He's a former cop and that makes him a good candidate to infiltrate the Christians and kill a new 'prophet' with the shegetz name of Elijah Cohen. Morgan's ex-wife Amy Moon dreamed up this assignment. Morgan escapes with White and Downes who has now become a believer. The rest of the film is what happens to the three of them.
Baldwin and Roberts lend their names to this project in strictly minor roles for box office. Usually these films immediately go to the Christian television circuit with a limited if any kind of run on the big screen.
If you're a believer this film is better than average, if you're not the story will be silly and trite. Reviews for these kind of films are wasted because the audience is a built in one, dictated by religious beliefs. Kind of like a Star Trek movie in that way.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I'm an atheist. I favor evolution and secular humanism being taught in
parochial schools, big-breasted cheerleaders being forced into
homosexual marriages, convicted pedophiles teaching elementary-school
sex-ed classes, and televangelists' wives (and girlfriends) being
subjected to mandatory abortion when they get pregnant.
My girlfriend (Christian) and I (see above) caught this movie on TBS today. I was expecting writing and acting that was heartfelt but amateurish. I found a story that gripped me quickly and moved me more than I would like to admit.
It's a movie I enjoyed, and could even recommend, regardless of the fact that it's Christian. "Six" is better than the two "Left Behind" movies, and loads better than the NBC travesty "Revelations."
My only objection to the story is that all the Christians in it are goody-two-shoes: they pray, they read Scripture (or even write it on walls), they witness, they listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit, they are not in the slightest tempted to take the Mark, and they walk jubilant to their guillotines. I've met maybe five people like that in my whole life; whereas churches are filled with phonies who, given the choice of The Mark Or The Axe, would sell out in a heartbeat.
The basic idea of the story: Sometime in the future (calendar years are never mentioned), the Antichrist (aka the Leader) has come to power. There is no mention that the Rapture happened, or else that it will happen later.
Anyway, those who take the Mark become brainwashed drones of the Community. (How do we know that they're brainwashed by the Antichrist? Nobody in the Community mentions that he's Republican. :-) ) Those who refuse to take the Mark are thrown into prison for 21 days. If during that time they choose to receive the Mark, they are tagged, "indoctrinated," and released -- but otherwise, at the end of 21 days they are beheaded on a platform with six side-by-side guillotines.
Tom Newton is a godless man who has not taken the Mark, who is still in love with his wife Jessica (now an evil drone). Tom Newton is also a former cop. He is tortured (in a scene that is guaranteed to creep out any hetero male) into agreeing to whack a Christian prophet, Elijah Cohen. To do that, Newton has to be thrown into the Markless prison, then to engineer an escape along with one of Elijah Cohen's followers, who presumably will take Newton to Cohen.
The prison is bursting with Christians, and every inch of every cell has Bible verses written on them. Newton is scornful of the Christians.
(Now, at this point, let me address those Bible verses. Other commentators here have found it unbelievable that the anti-Christian prison guards would allow such writings in the cells. I had no problem with that -- the guards are programmed by their "holy implants," and anyone who knows computers will tell you that programmers don't think of everything.)
Besides Newton, also thrown in the prison are two young men who were caught driving a stolen Porsche.
These three men must make a hard choice: take the Mark, which means Assimilation plus burning in hell for all eternity; refuse the Mark, and be beheaded in a state of sin; or accept Jesus and become a Tribulation Martyr.
Don't think that all three men accept Jesus. The screenwriter surprised me at the end.
Six is well done picture. I am glad to see that the movies that can be
labeled "Christian" are improving. The plot line of six is mostly
The actors do a good job with making you feel as though you are with them in their experiences.
The movie covers a time during the reign of the Anti-Christ. It does not attempt to cover more than just a narrow time.
There are a couple of things that are not really believable. The writing on the walls will not be something that is allowed during that time period. Bible Studies are definitely out.
This picture did leave me wondering until the last minute of the ultimate disposition of the main characters. That really enhanced the value of the movie. It does not beat you over the head with Christianity and allows you to see a different view and see what you think.
I saw this at the 2004 Greater Orlando Christian Film Festival. Most Christian movies have a well-earned reputation of being terrible on just about every level from acting to directing to writing to production. They look like your average church youth group with a dv camera ran out and shot a movie. As such I was braced for more of the same but Six (not sure why it is named that) actually is a cut above normal Christian films. The writing, while not always the smartest, definitely keeps you guessing what will happen next. I had some issues with things that didn't make a lot of sense, such as why in a prison where they are executing prisoners if they don't convert to the antichrist, they are allowing the inmates to have Bible studies and write Bible verses all over the walls. It seems contradictory at best. Also the backstory is given short shrift as to how or why the Leader came to power. There is some mentioning of purges and that's about it. Other issues have to do with things that happen for no apparent reason. Like there is a character that recalls how he got saved. So we see him driving his car along a road mocking a large group of people that are walking for some inexplicable reason to some unexplained or unrevealed destination, and then he gets yanked out of the car and beat up. This scene has no context. Just because it is a flashback does not mean that within the flashback, context is optional. So that's the bad, or what I can remember of it. Now for the good. Six has some of the best acting that I have seen in a Christian film, notably on the part of Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Tom Newman. He delivers his lines in a nice deadpan way and never goes over the top. Stephen Baldwin(!) has a great turn as the prophetic Luke. Baldwin puts that menacingly creepy little whisper delivery that he used in The Usual Suspects to great effect here with his moments opposite Morgan. Writing, directing, and starring is Kevin Downes as Jerry the hacker. Downes does an admirable job and in all of these roles but is best at his ability to hold back the film from spiraling out of control into the realms of the ludicrous with his even direction. While it has a solid Christian thriller vibe, it doesn't ram the "you're going to hell" message down your throat. It's more complex than that and expects its audience to think critically. While not a big screen level of quality (this is to be excused because it isn't being made with a massive budget), the movie is definitely the equal of your normal made-for-tv fare. Firmly anchored if not always rock steady, Six is a film that you can watch and not be embarrassed with if you are a Christian. 3.5 stars of 5.
Its seems that most of the heavy critics of this movie have a problem
with Christianity anyway and what in the world does the Bush
Administration have to do with it? Basically one should realize that if
its a "end time" Christian movie--expect bible quotes, prayer and good
natured characters. I think the movie could stand improvement in its
writing. Some of the attempts in humor was weak and I just have
problems in attempts to create popular one-liners. Its one of those
movies where you comment on how you would re-write that scene while its
occurring. The mind control Nazi like soldiers are getting old also.
On a funny side, why would I want a Porche if it cant out run an old police car on straight roads? The driver says thats OK--we'll out run em on the hair pin curves. Thats why you need 150+ on the speedometer-- Folks just lighten up, have fun watching. If you don't like Christians and the their words "burn your very soul", don't watch Christian movies (duh) just as I don't watch movies with a gay theme because I don't approve of the lifestyle.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie begins in the not-too-distant future with two car thieves named "Brody Sutton" (David A.R. White) and "Jerry Willis" (Kevin Downes) breaking into a garage and stealing a Porshe 911. Neither of them have accepted a computer implant which has been mandated by law. Eventually they get caught and thrown into prison with others who have refused to accept the implantmost notably Christians. One of these Christians is named "Luke" (Stephen Baldwin) who has an uncanny ability to see into the future. Another person they meet is a smuggler by the name of "Tom Newman" (Jefferey Dean Morgan) who was apprehended by his ex-wife "Jeseca" (Amy Moon) who happens to work tracking down those who refuse to receive the implant. Because of Jeseca's connections Tom is given an assignment to find and kill one of the leading Christians still at large who goes by the name of "Elijah Cohen" (Cosimo Michael Occhipinti). He very reluctantly accepts. Anyway, for those who like Christian movies dealing with this particular subject matter, I believe that they are in for a real treat. It has a very interesting plot and it kept my attention throughout. On the other hand, there were a couple of things I did not like about this movie. First, I didn't especially care for the special abilities of Elijah Cohen. It just wasn't as realistic as I would have preferred. My other criticism concerned the extremely limited role given to Eric Roberts (as the smuggler named "Dallas"). It just seems to me that an actor with that much ability should have had more screen time. But that's just my opinion. In any case, I liked this movie for the most part and I have rated it accordingly. Above average.
I saw Six The Mark Unleashed tonight. It wasn't too bad. It was too
preachy and it had some places where it didn't follow logically but
hey, for an ultra-low budget movie I've seen a LOT worse. It's
definitely WAY above Asylum grade.
I am a Christian and I very much support independent Christian cinema. I am also a Sci Fi nut. I enjoyed an attempt to merge the two.
Did it succeed? Not exactly, but then it didn't really fail either. I think a higher budget would really have helped. There really weren't any special effects. Just a bit of cool CGI stuff would have helped with the suspension of disbelief. They also were too heavy handed with the scriptures and it was disappointing that they didn't have any good people except Born Again Protestants. They didn't have any Catholics, Jews, Muslims, etc.
I'm given a "9" to this film simply because I think it deserves some
love and respect... and that it talks things which are actually true.
I understand that these days it's become such an obligation for people (whether on IMDb or "Rotten Tomatoes") to give low ratings to films that are in any terms spiritual, talking about God, the Bible, Christ, and so on. But also if it contains much cheesiness, low budget, amateur acting, or lousy writing. But try watching "Facing the Giants", "The Encounter", "Flywheel", "Fireproof", "Time Changer", or "Courageous" and you may think otherwise! And none of that even came across to me in this film! I enjoyed it a good deal. All fine performances from each of the actors - a good film worth enough for any decent, honorable family to own and watch. Much for spiritual nourishment & well-awareness & warning.
This flick was a great dose of reality! God warned us it would happen, and it will happen.
Love David A. R. White mostly for his performance in "God's Not Dead" and his powerful film he directed "The Encounter".
Stephen Baldwin is bold for standing up for his Christian faith amongst the darkness in Hollywood.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan.... who could forget him as the excellent John Winchester in the "Supernatural" TV series, that's I guess somewhat inspired quite a bit by the biblical sort of elements.
Happy 10 anniversary
PS: In fact, there is actually a very important person I think you should now about who's been imprisoned for his faith, and also for being very effective! The guy's name is Dr. Kent Hovind, an evangelist on Creation, Evolution, and Dinosaurs. Try searching him up sometime, maybe on YouTube - he's really worth it!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I have to say, that after I learned that this was a Christian movie I
was a little surprise, because the writing is very intelligent and the
acting is very good.
The movie has several lower points, the initial presentation is rather weak and there are a lot of scenes that don't make much sense, but the script is good, the inner struggle from the inmates, at one point the movie was almost ruined and almost renamed "Hackers 3" when one of the characters tries to destroy the cult shutting down the satellite network, hey, if they are already changed, what it will happen, they will simply wake up like if they were hypnotized?? that part of the movie was pretty ridiculous and lame, but served well to explain the relationship between two characters in the story, Tom and his ex-wife.
Another thing that didn't convince me was Tom's conversion, he seemed a very strong character, one very willingly to resist cult like ideas, where they come from some "Leader" or from Jesus himself, so that was also one of the lower points of the movie.
But overall this movie is very good, specially because it doesn't try to portrait the followers from Jesus like goodie goodies and everyone and everything else as villains, but just tell a history, and in the end people make their choices.
This movie can be seen by some as Christian propaganda, after all, it has a huge Christian label in the beginning, end, in the cover and in the back, but still it is say less Christian than "Saved!" is anti-Christian.
I also should point out that I'm not saying that because one movie is Christian and the other is anti-Christian, I analyzed the movie, and also I'm an atheist, this movie didn't change any of my beliefs in logic and evolution and the fact that religion is opium for the masses, but still it is a good movie and it doesn't look like Christian propaganda to me.
or faith. a film with, at the first sigh, a very precise target. and this fact impose to ignore the artistic value or the presence of Eric Roberts and Stephen Baldwin. the warning about the anti-Christ mark, control of masses, the fight for freedom, the way of Damascus and the links between very different men. nothing original. but, in same measure, it is more than a religious film. its political message could be, for a part of public, more important. because it is the illustration of the old war between state and citizens. sure, not used in the right manner but useful for serve the idea. the conspiracy theories, the fear about the last days, the need of hope, the memories about lines from the book of Apocalypse. each is part of the idea who defines this film.
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