Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 104 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 10+. There’s a brief battle scene without too much blood, and lots of obviously delivered themes about how bad corruption and greed are. Overall it’s very conservative thematically, but it undermines its audience with how simple everything is.
The film adaptation of the novel ‘The Ultimate Life’ is a sequel to ‘The Ultimate Gift,’ which in 2007 hit its audiences over the head with messages about family, kindness, charity. ‘Use your money for good’ was that film’s very reductive message, and it’s rehashed again in this sequel with few new ideas.
By Roxana Hadadi
Perhaps you read the novel “The Ultimate Gift” by Jim Stovall, or you saw the film adaptation. Either way, it’s easy to remember Stovall’s message: that money isn’t everything, and that people should use their money for good, and those who covet riches are thoroughly corrupt. It was all quite black and white, and Stovall’s follow-up novel, “The Ultimate Life”—now adapted into a film—is just that cut and dry. There’s no real discussion of class or economics or social problems here. “The Ultimate Life” is too straightforward for its own good.