Regal Green Hills Cinema 16 was the site of a Nashville red carpet screening for the new film “Bennett’s War” on Monday. The film features country music star Trace Adkins (“Deepwater Horizon”), Michael Roark (“Magic Mike,” “Beauty and the Beast”), Ali Afshar (“American Wrestler: The Wizard,” “Born to Race” and also the president and founder of Easy Street Motorsports/ESX Entertainment; he’s one of the film’s producers) Allison Paige (“The Flash,” “The Lizzie Bennet Diaries”), and Chattanooga native Hunter Clowdus (“All-American”).
Marshall Bennett (Roark) is a young soldier with the Army Motorcycle Unit who survives an IED explosion in combat overseas. He is medically discharged and told that one more accident could mean he might never walk again. When he returns to the family farm, he discovers that his dad, Cal Bennett (Adkins), is behind on his mortgage. He then decides to risk permanent paralysis or death on a dangerous comeback in motocross racing in order to save his family’s farm. Paige plays Sophie Bennett, Marshall’s loving wife, and Afshar is Cyrus, Marshall’s boss, mentor and friend.
The film tugs at the heartstrings, and also contains some very thrilling you-are-there footage from motocross races. It was made by filmmakers (including director/writer Alex Ranarivelo and cinematographer Reuben Steinberg) who are very familiar with the racing realm. Lucas Oil Founders Lucas Forrest and his wife, Charlotte Forrest, are releasing the film through their Forrest Films banner and make appearances in the movie.
“When I read this script, I knew I wanted to be part of this project,” Adkins told those assembled for the screening. “I spend a lot of time working with veterans’ organizations, and anything that brings more awareness to the struggles that those guys go through when they come home after being severely wounded in combat, I’m in. And this movie is about the struggle to overcome being told that you couldn’t do something…and I’m proud to be a part of it.”
Adkins and fellow country music star Tracy Lawrence were among those walking the red carpet along with Roark, Paige, Clowdus, Forrest Films Marketing and Distribution President Scott Kennedy and the Forrests. The motion picture releases nationwide on Aug. 30.
Here are photos by Rick Malkin from the event: