Movie Review: ‘The Other Side of Heaven 2 – Fire of Faith’

Everyone is excited to revisit to revisit the story of John Groberg - except Anne Hathaway - but is it worth the wait?

Now before I get criticized for being late to the show, I fully I realize this has been out since June 28th. But unless you live in the 1-15 corridor, you have to wait for it to come out on Amazon or buy it in a store. For those of us outside of the bubble, that happened on November 5th. The Other Side of Heaven 2: Fire of Faith, picks up  about 10 years after the events of the first movie.

The Fire of Faith

In the bustling town of Idaho Falls, the now Bishop Groberg does his best to fulfill his busy calling and balance a growing family.  But life can never be that simple and a letter from Salt Lake changes everything for the family of 6, soon to be 7. Who doesn’t love the “Surprise! You’re now a Mission President” letter? I can’t even imagine what that was like. But John and Jean take it all in stride and are soon on their way to Tonga to serve as President of the Tonga-Fiji mission.

Reprising his role as John Groberg is Christopher Gorham, whom doesn’t look like has aged. Noticeably absent is Anne Hathaway as Jean Groberg, now played by Natalie Medlock. Also returning is Joe Folau, better known as Feki, Elder Groberg’s companion first companion. After arriving back on the islands, we get to hear the name Kolipoki once more. My children were quick to remind me that Kolipoki meant “white man with weak stomach.” Followed by several chuckles. I’ve since learned that Kolipoki is actually the Tongan translation of Groberg.

As with the first movie, we get to see the trials and subsequent miracles of the Groberg family. We also get a few cameo appearances of then Elder Thomas S. Monson, played by Russell Dixon. Now, I’m not sure how close his portrayal was to  the real interactions Elder Monson and Elder Groberg. But there were a few times that a smirk or a joke  reminded me of President Monson’s smiles or chuckles in conference. You could almost see glimpses of  little Tommy who almost burned down Provo canyon. I’d like to imagine that was how he was when he was younger, just full of spirit and fun.

Is it worth seeing?

Now as far as content, I didn’t hear or see much that would warrant a PG-13 rating, other than a view scenes that could be frightening for younger viewers. I also didn’t hearing any cursing. Then again, I’m not sure I understand the ratings system anymore. So take the movie rating with a grain of salt.

There was one scene where Bishop Groberg was counseling an older married couple and the wife makes the insinuation that her husband is only nice to her if he wants something in return. That seemed to run right over my children’s heads, but my wife and I got a little chuckle out of it. Considering the movie was produced by BYUtv, it’s pretty safe to say that it is appropriate for the whole family.

If you’re looking for a movie the whole family can enjoy, this is worth the time.

I’d give it a 3.5-4 out of 5 stars. So 3.75 stars. Yes.

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