Most of the time, a director and a team with a strong vision can be enough to turn a small independent film into something greater than its own limitations. Sadly, every now and then, even that vision isn’t strong enough, and the results are terrible: Second Coming is such a result.
Jax (Nadine Marshall) is a social worker, living in London with a family she adores while putting up with a thankless job. Her husband, Mark (Idris Elba) and their son get by alright – until Jax learns that she is pregnant again. This presents a particularly personal problem: Jax has had four miscarriages in the past, and their son has been their only success. Does she keep the baby and get lucky again this time, or get an abortion to save herself from even more misery? No matter the decision, it seems that her situation is set to tear her family apart.
Chief among Second Coming’s various problems is that while it depicts mundane, everyday life, it never does so any other way than mundane itself. Every scene lacks either the necessary chemistry between actors to make us believe in the two leads’ marital strife, or the narrative momentum that keeps the – admittedly, rather decent – plot ticking along. And if these defects aren’t enough, there are also awkward splashes of magic realism during shoehorned vision sequences, arguably in an attempt to rise this film above what it really is: ploddingly dull. While Elba alone does inject some interest with his immense star power, nothing can save Second Coming from its own dreariness; add in some uneasy religious overtones that don’t tonally sit right, and a swathe of secondary characters that are complete non-entities, and you’ve got a certified dud on your hands.