I really wanted to like this movie. I made myself watch it until the very end, hoping against hope that Red would hurry up and get a clue before something really terrible happened. I don’t deal with visual violence very well and actually got up and left the room more than once because I was afraid of what was coming next.
The movie begins with Red returning home after a short incarceration. Red has an attitude. It seems that he blames his police officer mother for his problems – or at least the fact that his dad left them and she has tried to raise him and his younger brother on her own. Over and over Red gives in to peer pressure from friends he should avoid, making one bad decision after another that get him deeper and deeper in trouble. Unfortunately every time he has the opportunity to choose to do the right thing, he makes the wrong choice. The movie goes on interminably like this with alcohol, drugs, sex, violence, and criminal activity until it all hits the fan in a heartbreaking way.
Yes, Red had to hit bottom before his redemption but I did not need to be exposed to close to two hours of his descent. There was almost no indication that “Ashes of Eden” is even a Christian film with only a passing reference to God or Jesus. Then at the very end the viewer is abruptly treated to a brief scene with Red sharing his testimony with a room full of men in prison garb – very brief. Nowhere do we see Red making a decision for Christ but we must assume he did based on the fact that he is sharing with other prisoners.
This is not a movie that I would recommend to anyone and would strongly advise parents to watch before allowing their children to view it. The movie is unrated but I did see more than one site that had strong parental warnings about it. One reviewer said he would rate it at least a PG-13. I would have to agree. I am much older than that and it did not sit well with me.
A copy of this DVD was provided for review by FishFlix.
ABOUT THE MOVIE:
18-year-old Red made some bad choices. He’s done his time, but he’s still paying the consequences. He’s finding that having a bad reputation and being in the wrong place at the wrong time are an unfortunate combination – even when you’re trying to do the right thing.
Secretly selling stolen drugs in order to help his police officer mother pay the mortgage starts a bloodbath between rival dealers. Lives are lost, relationships destroyed, faith is questioned. And, Red is in the center of the spotlight. Can this gritty cautionary tale end with redemption? Perhaps. But, it comes with a price.