Jason Stevens has always had everything he ever wanted—at least everything that money could buy. Growing up in a successful oil dynasty, he has never seen anything but money, fakeness, and broken relationships. So when his patriarchal grandfather dies and the family gossip turns to who will get the largest share of the family fortune, Jason is uninterested and aimless in life. However, his world takes a unexpected turn when his father’s lawyer informs him that he is the one who is to inherit the largest portion of the fortune—if he can pass a series of seemingly eccentric tests designed to help Jason learn what is most important in life. As a result, Jason is forced to look at who he really is and what God really wants from him.
Production Quality (3 points)
The production crew of The Ultimate Gift showed true talent in this film. The camera work is excellent, including video quality and angles. The sets and locations are quite varied. The story is supposed to take place in at least two different countries, and this feat is pulled of well. The editing is great considering the fact that there is a lot of content in this film that could have cheesily been strung together. The series of gifts is not choppy and comes off naturally. In short, there are no production errors.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2.5 points)
As previously mentioned, it must have been hard to weave this type of content together into a clean plot line. Screenwriter Cheryl McKay actually improved Jim Stovall’s book in this adaptation, building on the characters and the storyline and making it more palatable. Dialogue is not forgotten in this miniature epic, even though it is concise. There are several interesting plot twists and things do not turn out as most inspirational plots would. Comedy and realistic drama are mixed well throughout. The only concerns to raise here are that some of the characters are slightly shallow and stereotypical. Otherwise, the plot content is very strong.
Acting Quality (3 points)
The Ultimate Gift cast is made up of mostly mainstream and professional actors, but they do the job well. They have obviously been coached well. Each one is appropriate in their roles and does the best with what they have. In short, there are once again no errors here.
While The Ultimate Gift is not a perfect film, it is certainly high on the list. It deals with a very unique topic in a very unique way. It would have been easy for the movie format to come off as amateurish, but this does not happen. One caveat is that there is not an explicit Christian message, but there are plenty of Christian values displayed. In short, this film is not only an enjoyable view, but it should also serve as a great example to anyone who wants to create an independent Christian film in the future.
Final Rating: 8.5 out of 10 points