Film Review: Second Coming

Second Coming

Debbie Tucker Green’s directorial debut Second Coming has promises of a decent kitchen sink drama, but fails to deliver in any satisfying way.

Jax lives with her husband Mark and their son JJ in London. When Jax discovers that she is pregnant, she ponders over what decision she should take…

Writer-director Debbie Tucker Green appears on first glance to have made a kitchen sink drama with Second Coming. On further inspection, the film is preoccupied with a particular theme. The main problem with Second Coming is that the family drama aspect is not compelling, and the more allegorical elements of the film are haphazard. The result is a film that jars.

Second Coming‘s narrative plods along for much of the duration. The character development is not smooth. The initial build up of family life works fine, although Tucker Green’s languid directorial style may make viewers itch for better pacing. Incidents that occur much later in the film are a sharp departure.

Tucker Green’s film is a mixture of realist family drama and abstract symbolism. At times, allegory is overstated in Second Coming, particularly at the very end of the film. Nevertheless, any allusion to an unstable mind is underplayed. Tucker Green combines two quite disparate ideas in a way that does not fully mesh together.

When Second Coming shifts its focus to son JJ, it provides some of its most charming scenes. The most interesting character in the film; the audience is often positioned with the young boy. The use of soundtrack in the film can be grating; switching from overpowering to non-existent. Idris Elba offers a strong performance as Mark. Kai Francis Lewis is promising as JJ, while Nadine Marshall is laboured with the disagreeable protagonist.

Second Coming could have been a thought-provoking contemporary tale, but the ideas present do not compliment each other. A disappointing viewing experience.

Second Coming was screened at the BFI London Film Festival in October 2014.