Heaven’s War {Beyond the Darkness} (Movie Review)

Image result for heaven's war
The magic of the cosmos…

Plot Summary

Senator Jonah Thomas is a rising political star who wants to be the good guy in Washington, but evil individuals, both human and spiritual, have their own plans for him. Jonah’s political career is pushing his family to the brink, and he doesn’t realize the evil devices that await him in one fateful meeting. As his soul hangs in the balance, he will be given one last chance to battle for his eternal destiny in a very poorly-animated CGI world.

Production Quality (0 points)

Imagine you have this great idea for a complex sci-fi plot that requires a lot expensive CGI and animation tools. Would you go ahead and make it even though you didn’t have the funding to make it on a level we see in theaters today? Essentially, Heaven’s War is a poorly funded attempt at a possibly good idea that will fall totally flat due to how bad the production is. The extremely cheap special effects and the cheesiest possible animation and CGI draw so much attention to themselves that they negate any possible good elements in other parts of the production. They affect everything and make it an unpleasant experience whether via disorienting editing, cheap flashback quality, weird sound effects, or wild and quick cuts between scenes. Even if other elements of the film are fine, the special effects failings are the types of issues that infect everything, which keeps this production rated at zero.

Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)

Besides this, the plot is fairly confusing and hard to follow. Even though it’s an interesting idea to explore the spiritual realm, everything is too focused on American politics, which begs the question why the major spiritual battles highlighted here center around raising taxes and finding a vaccine for cancer. If this isn’t the intention, it comes off that way through expository dialogue and devices that move the plot forward, such as news reports and phone conversations. As the story wildly jumps from one random idea to the next, the slightly interesting flashback\psychological vision elements had something going for them, but the way they are presented is a disservice. Poor delivery and unclear direction doomed this plot from the start, not to mention the extremely cheesy portrayal of the spiritual realm that is almost a laughingstock. After lots of disorienting battle sequences and explorations of alternate realities, problems are suddenly quickly fixed at the end with no feeling or reality behind it, and by the time it’s all over, you suddenly realize that this film barely had any actual content in it. Hence, no points can be awarded in this section either.

Acting Quality (1 point)

Surprisingly, as bad as it is, the acting is the strongest point of this movie because it’s the only section that gets any points. Even still, the acting often comes off as un-earnest, overly practiced, and robotic. For the most part, emotions are black, forced, and unnatural. There are some good moments for some of the cast members that are basically just average, but as a whole, the acting is cardboard and the casting poor. This rounds out an unacceptably bad film in the new era of Christian entertainment.

Conclusion

Danny Carrales’ intentions to make different types of Christian films are definitely noted, but their application is way off the mark. It would have been better to make Heaven’s War fully animated so that more time could have been spent on making a real plot. Relying only on special effects of any quality level is never a good idea because they can’t write the story for you. Even the best sci-fi idea will fail if the characters can hold it up for you because the audience has no real connection to the concept without feeling like real people are experiencing it. Basically, better luck next time.

Final Rating: 1 out of 10 points

16 thoughts on “Heaven’s War {Beyond the Darkness} (Movie Review)

  1. I think this movie was great .It shows us that there are two realities,the world we live in, and a spiritual world that is just as real but we can’t see it.Sometimes people do see it if God allows.I loved the whole movie

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  2. I thought every aspect of this film was great. The special effects were great. The fight scenes were pretty impressive. I’m not sure how you’re negative about this film’s plot and storyline quality, unless you can’t process the story line. I thought Danny Carrales writing was genius on this. It’s about how the evil forces of this world tempt you constantly to sin against God, seeking to destroy your soul. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” If demonic forces aren’t able to tempt you by sex or money, they try tempting you with power. And how your career, or what you think you need to focus on, can distract you. Causing negative impacts on your loved ones. Staying focus on God and hearing His wisdom is the only way to resist all these tricks tempting you to destroy your life. Acknowledging how dark this world is made the main character realize his sins. He feared who he could become from what Gabriel showed him and bringing him to repentance. I’d also say the acting was great. Honestly, shocked in the low rating given here. I’d give Heaven’s War a 9.5 if not a 10.

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  3. This critic is probably an atheist which is why he gives it a poor review. It’s very sad actually, making a review solely on belief instead of how well the movie did, or the message behind the movie.

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  4. I find it disconcerting and difficult to trust critics anymore. Not only do I find most movies I enjoy typically receive 5.0 to 6.0 ratings even though some should rate 8.0-9.0. Worse, with few exceptions, faith-based films automatically start with a highest grade of 5.0 and only go down from there. Some complain they do not being preached at…but will give environmental movies 8.0-9.0 ratings for little more than the message they attempt to send.

    I am good with movie ratings if they are non-biased as possible; but choosing one ideology to rate extra well and others extra poorly is akin to search engines showing results for preferred products over others, even when a producer paid for improved search results.

    In the end, don’t claim to give fair and even reviews when your ideology takes the driver’s seat and movie qualities are in the back seat. It is fairly obvious…like a person who thinks they sound fine on the phone when other person can clearly tell they are hammered…ideology always bleeds through the clearest.

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    • Thanks for your thoughts! This site actually only reviews Christian entertainment, so we’re really focusing on one broad ideology. As such, we don’t rate movies low simply because they’re Christian (we are Christians) but because of the standards that are published in our Review Scale 🙂

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  5. Although I agree the story was very convoluted & hard to follow, by no means was I not impressed with the special effects. I thought they were well-done. They would have to be a bit over the top to reflect the powers of Heaven & Hell. Wouldn’t you think?

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  6. Pingback: Heavenquest: A Pilgrim’s Progress (Movie Review) – Box Office Revolution

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