EpochTV: Film Review: ‘20 Minutes’

Director Timothy A. Chey’s Riveting Thriller Explores Our Shared Commonalities.
October 22, 2021 Updated: October 22, 2021

Faith-based director, Timothy A. Chey’s recent film, “20 Minutes,” examines what it would be like if people knew they only had 20 minutes left to live. And it’s an interesting question that plays out in the lives of a disparate group of 12 individuals who don’t seem to have much in common beyond their close proximity to one another (the film takes place in Hawaii).

These folks include a couple of soldiers, two men who are neighbors, and a pair of surfing buddies and their girlfriends. Each person hails from a different background and holds different beliefs. Take the surfing friends for instance, one is a believer and the other, an atheist. Meanwhile, the two men who are neighbors are at opposite sides of the political spectrum and can’t stand one another—at least initially.

Suddenly, a news alert notifies everyone of an incoming ICBM (Intercontinental Ballistic Missile) that is speeding toward Hawaii. At first, people are skeptical as to whether or not the report is real since they often have practice drills for disaster preparedness. However, when it becomes clear that a missile is indeed rapidly approaching the Hawaiian Islands, panic ensues—especially since they are notified that they only have twenty minutes left before it hits.

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Karen (Dia Frampton, L) wants to help Kevin (Jake Red), but resists her efforts, in “20 Minutes” (RiverRain Productions)

One of the more fascinating storylines follows a snooty conservative Republican, Kevin Descartes (Jake Red) and his cranky neighbor, Larry Smith (Mark J. Bush) who is a liberal Democrat. The two men do things strictly to annoy one another and have frequent verbal sparring sessions whenever they come into contact.

Another plot line involves Kevin and his fractured relationship with his lady, Karen Chang (Dia Frampton). Although Kevin does acknowledge that he has an anger problem and has been a “hateful monster” his entire life, when Karen suggests he seek therapy, he accuses her of taking sides against him and storms off.

It isn’t until later as Kevin and Larry are hunkered down in the latter man’s emergency bunker that Kevin notices a fishing pole leaning against the wall. They begin to bond over their mutual interest in fly fishing and agree that if they survive the impending disaster, they’ll go on a fly fishing trip together—along with their wives, whom Kevin believes will get along as well.

As the clock commences to tick down, minute-by-minute, the 12 people the film follows all react to the emergency in their own ways—some more drastically than others. For instance, whereas one of the soldiers stationed on a Hawaiian military base, Mark Carroll (Michael Camp), is a white nationalist, he has been assigned to partner up with Shanice Williams (Mihara India). But as the missile gets closer and closer to striking, Mark begins to have doubts about his hate-filled ideology.

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Shanice (Mihara India, L) and Nigel Williams (Aaron Braxton), in “20 Minutes” (RiverRain Productions)

Indeed, the divisive perceptions that the 12 folks hold begin to be questioned in the face of the severity of the unfolding catastrophic event. While many people panic and attempt to somehow flee, others react by making peace with their perceived enemies and ultimately, themselves and their maker.

Director Chey, who not only directed the film but also wrote the script for it, asks film-goers an interesting (and somewhat frightening) question—what would you do if you knew you only had a very limited amount of time to exist here on good old planet Earth? Which of us would run around hysterically and who among us would be more measured in our thoughts and actions?

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Larry (Mark J. Bush, L) and Kevin (Jake Red), in “20 Minutes” (RiverRain Productions)

Besides the gorgeous shooting locations (I mean, how can someone not love the Hawaiian scenery?), one of the things that really struck me about “20 Minutes” is how certain characters react to the emergency situation. In other words, their actions were often unexpected and I was surprised by them. This film is another top-notch cinematic effort by Chey and his outstanding cast and crew. It shares a hopeful and inspirational message of love for our fellow human beings, as well as being able to give faith a fighting chance to illuminate our mortal lives, and spiritual beings.

“20 Minutes” is available to watch NOW here.


“20 Minutes”

Director: Timothy A. Chey

Starring: Dia Frampton, Michael Camp, Lehi Makisi Falepapalangi

Running Time: 1 hour, 33 minutes

Release Date: April 8, 2022

Rated: 4 1/2 stars out of 5

Ian Kane is a filmmaker and author based out of Los Angeles. To learn more, visit DreamFlightEnt.com or contact him at Twitter.com/ImIanKane.

Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Ian Kane
Ian Kane is an U.S. Army veteran, author, filmmaker, and actor. He is dedicated to the development and production of innovative, thought-provoking, character-driven films and books of the highest quality. You can check out his health blog at IanKaneHealthNut.com