Based on the true experiences of Lt. Colonel Michael Strobl, who wrote eloquently of them in a widely circulated 2004 article, Taking Chance is a profoundly emotional look at the military rituals taken to honor its war dead, as represented by a fallen Marine killed in Iraq, Lance Corporal Chance Phelps. Working as a strategic analyst at Marine Corps Base Quantico in VA, Lt. Col. Strobl (Kevin Bacon) learns that Phelps had once lived in his hometown, and volunteers to escort the body to its final resting place in Wyoming. As Strobl journeys across America, he discovers the great diligence and dignity in how the military, and all those involved with preparing and transporting the body, handle their duties. Equally important, he encounters hundreds of people affected by Chances death, a vast majority of whom never knew him. This collective grieving eventually causes Lt. Col. Strobl, a veteran of Desert Storm now assigned to office duty, to probe his own guilt about not re-deploying to Iraq for the current conflict. Arriving in Wyoming, Lt. Col. Strobl completes his catharsis when he encounters Chances gracious family and friends, and discovers an extraordinary outpouring of community support.
“Although this is a meticulous, deliberate, well-paced movie, it grips the audience’s attention at all times. There are many moments that elicit tears, patriotism, and fears. TAKING CHANCE is a deeply psychological drama that eventually comes down on the side of God and country.
In fact, throughout the movie, there are deliberate signs of faith, from the airline attendant who blesses Mike and gives him a cross, to distinct mentions of prayer, courage, valor, and Heaven. Yet TAKING CHANCE is not an evangelistic movie. Nor does it fit a typical generic formulation or classification. It is really a journey of the soul that we recommend everyone should take.” – Movieguide