Imagery at its finest: Dallas (Daniel Berkey, left) and Gabriel (Jordan Ndubueze) visiting the church. Production Still of Kingdom Come, courtesy of Iron Horse Cinema

[Review] Kingdom Come (IHC, 2013)

Imagine an average day in your life. You get up in the morning, you take a shower and get ready for work. You leave the house, get in your car and drive all the way to work. The sun is shining outside, touching your skin, making you feel like the world couldn’t get any better.
And suddenly, without a warning, your whole life changes. The world is not what it was before. Panic strikes as a real, distinct fear destroys it all. What will you do? What side will you take? Will you serve the light or the darkness? Will you even be able to distinguish them from each other?

The protagonists of Kingdom Come – a feature film by Iron Horse Cinema – live in a world like this. After the USA have been attacked by fighter jets of a yet unknown nation (turns out to be chinese), civilization, structure and order are destroyed. There’s just a small settlement, that is safe. A small settlement under control of a military man and his crew. He’s more than just responsible for the safety and health of the people living there, he is the ruler of it – ruling with severity and leaving justice, safety and any other matters in the hands of his men. Men, that acquired a taste of power and greed. Dangerous men, masked as just and legitimate. Men, that allow no objections.
Dallas (an amazing Daniel Berkey) is one of them. Until he slowly learns something isn’t right in their new-built paradise, their exile for life. He is guided through this process by a man he barely knew, but whose letters he finds after executing him. That man is Mitchell Walker (brilliant as always: Jeff Moffitt), who kept writing to his wife after they had lost each other through the course of events. A man, who seemingly never lost his faith.

Never losing faith: Mitchell Walker (Jeff Moffitt). Production Still of Kingdom Come, courtesy of Iron Horse Cinema
Never losing faith: Mitchell Walker (Jeff Moffitt). Production Still of Kingdom Come, courtesy of Iron Horse Cinema

I won’t write any more about the story of the movie. It’s just too good to take it all away from the viewing experience. I’m just going to say this: the end of the movie had me bursting with tears. I sobbed, I cried, I empathized, but strangely enough I found myself stronger afterwards. Absolutely convinced, that there could be a glimpse of light on the dark horizon, that we already see each and every single day of our current existence.

If you’d like to have a look at Kingdom Come yourself, just watch this trailer for now, it gives you a good insight:

The most intriguing aspect of Kingdom Come is indeed the big „What if“. What happens with people finding themselves in times of crisis. Will you be a leader? Will you be an oppressor? Or will you truly lead and care for people? Will you be a follower? Doing what others tell you to do? What will you do, if you are indeed oppressed by someone? Will you fight or endure it?
What if there’s only darkness? Will you try to be the spark, that lights the horizon? Will you be strong enough to keep the faith, the hope and the belief, that some day it will get better?
Kingdom Come shows the abyss of a human soul as well as the zenith of humanity – and that a choice once taken can always corrected, if you have the inner strength to do so.
„For power, greed, for survival weak men can be consumed by evil“, Mitchell writes to his wife. And the question remains: what happens, when a man becomes powerful by ruling over others? He could be a just leader, a leader caring for the interests of his people. But he could also let the power get to his head and take advantage of those he promised to lead.
It’s a small line between both. You can get used to either side, although latter option is the most comfortable one – at least if you can fight down your conscience.
Kingdom Come examines what power can do to people and how it changes people. But it also shows, what people can achieve, when they find the strength to fight the circumstances. And when they never stop to fight for their rights.

Which side to take? Maren Kelroy (Jaiden Kaine) among some of Mitchells men. Production Still of Kingdom Come, courtesy of Iron Horse Cinema
Which side to take?
Maren Kelroy (Jaiden Kaine) among some of Mitchells men. Production Still of Kingdom Come, courtesy of Iron Horse Cinema

Giving power to few seems like a good thing, because those few will have to worry about the course of things. They will be held responsible for their choices, they will need to decide. But in the end with great power comes great responsibility, as the famous french writer Voltaire once said. And it’s true.
We’ll all have to decide, if we want to place that responsibility into the hands of those we vote for. We’ll all have to decide whether we just take, what is given or if we will be strong enough to fight for humanity and equal rights.
Most people just strive for the power and completely forget about the responsibility – unfortunately.

I loved every single minute of Kingdom Come. Why? Because it has so many hidden meanings, it is set in a post-apocalyptic world, but still has all the connections to our world today. Because it shows, that people have a choice: good or evil, light or darkness, faith or despair.
Even in the world we live in we have all these choices, although we might not be able to see them laid out before us. If we walk past a crying stranger – we have the choice to either care or walk by. If we see a homeless man in the streets, freezing and hungry – we have the choice to either care or walk by. If we see wars emerging, if we see injustices done to minorities – we have the choice to either care or do nothing.

I could go on and talk for hours about the religious imagery, about the religious aspects of this story, I could draw connection between biblical characters and characters from the movie – but at this point I don’t want to over-analyze it. If anyone is interested in my opinion about it, just feel free to ask.😉

The technical side of the movie: the imagery is once more fantastic. Similar to the „The Last of Us“ fan films the camera work is extraordinary, the music department totally blew me away, the choice of locations was superb. Every little detail is just wonderfully integrated, the work of each department fits in like pieces of a puzzle.
This time around I won’t even comment on any actor in specific. Why? Because they were all gorgeous! I could sense the rivalries even without words, the characters were all believable, some lovable, some hateable.
I know that Jeff Moffitt got his first award for his acting as Mitchell Walker – the man who never lost his faith – and I still think it was about time, that his acting talent finally got some attention. But if you’d ask me, who acted out the best, I couldn’t answer. I simply wouldn’t be able to find an answer, because even the smallest roles, the seemingly most unimportant characters were brilliantly casted and even better acted out. I enjoyed every second so much, because the setting was so realistic, the atmosphere tense and almost touchable.
Being used to the fantastic fan films of IHC I was really excited to see this original production of theirs. And what can I say? Why the heck aren’t they world-famous by now?

To conclude this review, I’ll just give you this quote:
„You cannot give and always expect to receive,
you cannot ask and always expect to be answered,
you cannot lie and always know the truth.
But you can always have faith.“

Movie credits:
Kingdom Come
created by Sy Cody White, Jason Lee Hess, Jeff Moffitt
Executive Producer Jeff Moffitt
Written & directed by Jason Lee Hess
Director of Photography Sy Cody White

Editor Sy Cody White
Producer Jason Lee Hess, Sy Cody White, Eugene Lin
Cast:
Dallas Balt – Daniel Berkey
Mitchell Walker – Jeff Moffitt
Joseph Calavano – Steven Komito
Vaugh Sterling – David Raymond Klein
Gabriel Vaseles – Jordan Ndubueze
Maren Kelroy – Jaiden Kaine
Lee Silter – Rich Sabatino
Maxwell Burgess – Darrin Biss
Shane Calley – Harrison Ndubueze
Brent Dauer – David Weber
Priest – Larry Mihlon
Adam – Richard Estrin
Evelyn – Samantha Strelitz
Morris – Steven Miller
Guard #1 – Mino Jones
Guard #2 – Andrew LT Lee
Sniper Alpha – Jason Emanuel
Sniper Bravo – Andrew Ayala
Dusty – Guillermo B. Aguilar
Young man – Jeff Foley
Boy #1 – Ryan Moffitt
Boy #2 – Chase Haskell
Boy #3 – Alex Sherman
Mother – Suzanne Donahue
Daughter – Samantha Biss
Civilians – Mark J Alessio, Nicole Evette McIntosh, Larry Gevirtz, Tevin Ogbewele, Eric Charles (IV), Jacob Berger, Michael Leggett
Elena Walker (wife) – Charisse Bellante

Associate Producers: Ronald E.Giles, Jessica Morin Graves, Jane Hanson, Blanket Jackson, Reyer Krikke, James Mason, Dani Lee Porter, Marvin Suarez, Erick von Schulz

Executive Producers: Walter Hass, Stacy Minero, Jason Anderson, Kevin Davis, John Hoff III, David McNulty, Duane A Sikes, Marshon Thomas, Peter McQuillan, Kalie Jones, Steven Hess, Raymond Hess, Fuad Omar, Reno Venturi, Lynn Moffitt

Make-Up Department / Costume and Wardrobe Department Elizabeth Koff
Sound editing / visual effects Sy Cody White

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