Friday, January 21, 2011

Movie Review Friday: Pilgrim's Progress:Journey to Heaven

It's time for Movie Review Friday, where I review a family friendly movie I recently watched and that I would recommend to you! This week, my featured film is Pilgrim's Progress: Journey to Heaven by DRC Films. Enjoy!

This past December, I had the chance to read the Pilgrim's Progress classic for the first time. I simply could not put it down! Besides the wonderful teachings that appeared in the dialogue, I was captivated by every scene as well as the Biblical characters. On certain nights, I would read the book for two hours non-stop before bed! Therefore, I was thrilled to find out that DRC Films had put out a modern retelling of the Pilgrim's Progress.

Pilgrim's Progress: Journey To Heaven tells the beloved story of Christian, who, after getting rejected by his family for reading the Bible and reading about eternal fire, hears from Evangelist that he must leave the City of Destruction and head for the Celestial City. Along the way, he falls in the Swamp of Dispond, walks through the Valley of the Shadow of Death and the Valley of Humilation, fights with lions and Apollyon, and more. Along with Faithful, and later Hopeful, Christian makes it safely to the Celestial City where he is free from his burdens and enters into the joy of his Lord.

Pilgrim's Progress: Journey to Heaven has many wonderful assets. The first that I found to be excellent was the modern setting. Christian has many things that tempt him to stay behind, including a beautiful brick house on a gorgeous property. All the characters are modern too, including a construction worker, a business man, and professor, and a host of other enthralling characters. Every actor (including several familiar faces) does a magnificent job at his part, making for a totally enjoyable cast and adding greatly to the wonderful story that Pilgrim's Progress presents. Personally, I didn't think that the creators of this film could have picked a better character for Christian, who plays a huge variety of parts, from a warrior to a fearful man, to a friend when it was needed most.

Several parts especially caught my attention on this film. First, the redemption scene when Christian's burdens are rolled away at the cross: Christian was totally believable in his extravagant joy that his sins were rolled away! Then angels appearing to Christian was also portrayed well, especially because I have already seen two other versions of this classic where this was not the case. Also, on the ending scene when Christian and Hopeful cross the water was portrayed so well, it is easy to tear up with joy and emotion when watching the team cross the river and finally be relieved of all their sorrows and to enter the Celestial City. At this part also appeared several unexpected twists that did not appear in the book, but made for a superb ending. Unfortunately, I cannot say what they are, because they will spoil the awesome ending! Ignorance's rejection is also portrayed well, although I was slightly disappointed (though not too much) that they did not let the viewer experience very much of the dialouge that took place between Christian and Ignorance in the book.

One major concern of mine before viewing the film was the Vanity Fair scene. I couldn't read through this scene in the book without tearing up, and I wondered if the film would be grusome and emotional. Personally, I thought they portrayed it well. Just when you're prepared to look away from the TV screen, the films becomes easy on the viewer, allowing him to switch his focus to where Christian met Hopeful who helps him make a timely escape. Although the part is emotional, it is definitely not grusome, and I enjoyed their wonderful selection for both Faithful and Hopeful.

I absolutely loved Pilgrim's Progress: Journey to Heaven from start to finish. Any Pilgrim's Progress fan will need to be expecting a few minor changes, as well as a more modern setting, but nothing that makes it seem like the book is being rewritten. From Christian's knock at the gate, to the attacks from Apollyon, from the Vanity Fair trial scenes, to Faithful's transportation to heaven, to being captured by Giant Despair, to crossing the sea, to making it to the Celestial City, every single scene is very captivating! I highly recommend this film to every Christian looking for faith-building, edge-of-seat thrillers! I don't believe I have seen a better film in my life. Pilgrim's Progress: Journey to Heaven is awesome!



  1. That movie looks really cool! I want to see it! :) And great review, man!

  2. I LOVE this movie! Probably my favorite!

  3. I'll definitely have to check out this movie. Thanks for the review!

  4. Thanks guys! I'm really glad you all enjoyed the review! :)


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