Ben Oliver

Banner image for Taking Chance

Taking Chance

You are his witness now. Without a witness, they just disappear.
29 January 2015

Kevin Bacon stars as Michael Strobl, a soldier escorting the body of a fallen comrade, Chance Phelps, across America back to Phelps’ home town to be buried.

Quick disclaimer, I’m not American. With that in mind, this is a bizarre film. It’s almost like it’s been made specially for the people involved in the story. We go through Bacon’s journey step by step and it’s so, so boring.

I can understand the need for such a story to be told with respect, however this takes that notion to an almost laughable point. Every single person in the film has a tear rolling down their cheek when they find out what’s happening. The woman at the airport check-in desk cries when she sees Bacon is transporting a fallen soldier. The check-in desk!

Bacon plays the stoic but crestfallen soldier well. Strobl never knew the soldier who died, which puts him in a similar position to the audience. However, he’s given nothing to do other than stare at the coffin and salute.

If you’re keen on seeing lots of salutes and people saying ‘thank you for your service’, Taking Chance might be for you. Otherwise, it comes off as pointless retelling of a dull (albeit tragic) series of events. It’s so bland that ironically it does a disservice to the story it’s trying to tell.