Monday, August 18, 2014
God's Not Dead (2014)
IMDB plot summary: College philosophy professor Mr. Radisson's curriculum is challenged by his new student, Josh, who believes God exists.
Directed by Harold Cronk. Starring Kevin Sorbo, Shane Harper, and David A. R. White.
(For a much much less serious, more snarky take on this movie, check out my live tweet.)
As is the case with an unfortunate number of Christian movies, this isn't a good story. It's (literally) a series of lectures. There are a few attempted narrative subplots, but none of those really connect to the central characters, and most of them are barely ever seen so it's not like we'd have a chance to connect to them anyway.
My main issue with the movie, however, is that it's full of REALLY negative stereotypes about all the non-Christians. There is NO character in this movie who is a decent person without being a Christian, except for maybe the Chinese kid, but he gets a pass because he apparently kind of wants to be a Christian the whole time.
It makes it sound like being a Christian is some sort of risky act in America because everyone in the country is going to try to ruin your life (no lie, the philosophy professor tells the Christian kid EXACTLY that at one point). I've known plenty of non-Christians throughout my life and not a single one of them has been as overtly nasty to me as this movie would have you believe they ALL are. Are there nasty atheists out there? Sure. But there are also plenty of nasty Christians.
The movie deliberately sets up an unpleasant stereotyped characterization that is both unkind and untrue. That seems like the opposite of everything a Christian movie should be striving for. How can it claim to offer spiritual truth when people watching it KNOW that the world they're presenting as fact is a lie?
There's really nothing I liked about this movie. It's scattered, it's unkind, characters have nearly no definable personalities... It's just a mess, and, worse, it's a mess that is trying to represent my faith. Not to end this review sounding like a 4-year-old being served vegetables, but it's icky and I don't like it.
Flickchart: #2012 out of 2204, below Big Fat Liar and above Hotel Translyvania.