Flywheel

Flywheel

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Flywheel is the first film from the creators of Facing the Giants and Fireproof. Used car salesman Jay Austin (writer/director Alex Kendrick) swindles his customers and teaches his assistant salesmen to do the same--but despite the profits, something gnaws at him. When he realizes that his own son doesn't respect him, Austin has a conversion and accepts God into his life. This would be the end of most spiritual stories, but Flywheel finds a warm comedy in the obstacles on the path of righteousness; Austin discovers that being right with God means grappling every day with what it means to be honest. Though the filmmaking is raw (the editing is often clumsy and the cinematography is flat), the story is well-paced, has a gently ironic sense of humor, and Kendrick's central performance is compelling. Kendrick is just as persuasive as a man struggling to emerge from a joyless life as he is when he's rediscovered his faith but finds it constantly tested. Though Flywheel is forthright about its Christian inspiration, the story is about actually living a moral life, not about abstract spiritual truths. The result is a movie that looks towards heaven, but has its feet on the earth.