Five Minutes of Heaven DVD Review - www.impulsegamer.com -

Feature 7.0
Video 7.0
Audio 6.0
Special Features 4.0
Total 7.0
Distributor: Madman
Classification: M15+
Minutes: 89
Reviewer: Jamie Kirk

7.0


Five Minutes of Heaven

Five Minutes of Heaven is a semi biographical tale of two men from Ireland during the 70’s. Alistair Little is 17, and is part of Ulster Volunteer Force, eager to prove himself to the cause.  The job that will do this involves murdering a young Catholic man to serve as a warning to others.  As he makes his way to his target he encounters an 8 year old boy, James Griffin playing football outside. Griffin can only watch as Little walks up to his house, and shoots his older brother dead through the window. The film picks up thirty years later, as a camera crew intends for the pair to finally meet again and reconcile on air. Reconciliation is the last thing on Griffin’s (James Nesbitt) mind though, he has come only for vengeance on the man who ruined his life (Liam Neeson).

The film plays itself out as two halves. The first part shows Ireland as it was in the 70’s, riots being a daily occurrence and petrol bombs lining the streets.  Little and his gang muck around like most rebellious teenagers, but it doesn’t take long to uncover their sinister motives. The first part takes up only the first twenty minutes or so of the film, but it is an engaging way to begin. Little is played with steely eyes by Mark Davison and makes it easy to believe that a mop topped youth, who worries about pimples and girls can just as easily put on a mask and kill a man in cold blood. The films low budget works in its favour particularly well in this half. It won’t be a film to show off a high definition television, but the grainy look gives it that 70’s feel.

The first part is a reconstruction of actual events, the second half is a work of fiction. Here we see the aftermath of the two who became forever bound by the event, no matter how unwanted the bind was.  The two lead performances anchor the film and are equally powerful, Neeson’s is one of quiet intensity, a man who can’t quite come to terms with what he has done.  Nesbitt plays Griffin as almost dangerously unhinged, a man whose life was taken in a different way than his brothers. Griffin beared the brunt of the blame from his mother and is full of rage and loathing for the man who took everything from him. Nesbitt is excellent in this role, as a man who has become so emotionally run down by these events that it looks to have aged him incredibly prematurely. Watching him grapple with the torment Little has brought him, and the torment that killing him will bring his ‘five minutes of heaven is gripping to watch’.

Five Minutes of Heaven is elevated by Neeson and Nesbitt. Without them the film would have been decent, but not nearly as watchable. Too little is shed on what happened to Little and Griffin,  but Neeson and Nesbitt help fill in the blanks sometimes with their stares alone. The extra features are on the light side, some on set interviews and a segment from ‘At the Movies’ are all we are treated too. They are entertaining enough, but nothing worth sitting through multiple times. The film is very watchable though, thanks to two great actors at the top of their game.  

DVD Special Features

Interview with director Oliver Hirschbiegel and star James Nesbitt from ABC1's At The Movies
On-set interviews with cast & crew
Theatrical trailer






 
 



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