Ever since e-mail became a thing, we’ve all gotten the much circulated spam message story about the evil intellectual atheist professor trying to humiliate the faithful Christian freshman on the first day of class with his science and his book-learnin’ and how the freshman defeats the evil liberal professor because of Jesus or something like that…
…it’s been a while.
I barely remember the story… something about Jesus stopping the chalk from breaking when it hit the floor which must have used up his miracle quota for a while, hence all of the famine, childhood cancer, and school shootings, but I remember that it spread like wildfire and was highly popular as all unsupported third hand accounts are in the world of religion.
Now, that meme has turned into a movie… the plucky clean cut freshman and the learned evil atheist professor are exploding onto the big screen as never before!
It’s moronic. It’s a movie made for people who don’t like to think. It’s intellectually dishonest, it’s ludicrously plotted, and strangely enough… it’s an angry movie. Mean spirited, morose on many levels… playing off of the pissed off white Christian male audience who see their faith under attack because schools won’t allow them to force other kids to pray.
God’s Not Dead is shrewd when it comes to knowing and exploiting its audience, but that’s about the most clever that it gets. Its actual execution is pretty god-awful.
Where to begin? It’s like looking at the holocaust and the practice of drowning Chinese babies rolled together with Elderly people forced to work at Wal-Mart and thinking… where do I start with what’s wrong with this?
First, God’s Not Dead looks like a TV movie. A bad TV movie. There’s no finesse, no effort… very little experience shows. It’s cheap, looks cheap, and make no effort to look better. It’s a series of barely connected stories about people without faith being punished for not having it and then finding it or dying or…
All right, so of course, you’ve got Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper), the afore mentioned white college freshman who knowingly signs up for a college course with a known atheist, Professor Hercules (Kevin Sorbo). Professor Hercules teaches philosophy and, to speed past religious philosophical debates, requires his students to sign a declaration that says “God is dead.” Josh refuses to do that (because who would have really expected that an Atheist professor everyone was warning you about during the opening minutes of the film would have done something like this three minutes into the first day of class?) and Josh, being the good defiant Christian lad that he is, refuses. Therefore, Professor Hercules, challenges him in an debate and if Josh cannot prove the existence of God, then he fails the course. Given how off the actual college course appears, I have a hard time believing that the people who wrote this movie have ever been in a college class in their lifetimes.
Meanwhile, the one hundred other students in the class are sighing at the fact that their tuition money is going up in flames like burning toilet paper in a clash of egos.
We’re also introduced to evil Atheist blogger, Amy (Trisha LaFache) who is going out with Dean Cain who is too busy at the business store making business to really be any support to her. This one is one of the more ludicrous storylines in that one of the Duck Dynasty D-bags has a cameo in it as himself.
There are more… but does it really matter? It’s just a mess. A gosh-darn unholy mess.
I am perfectly aware that I am not in the audience for this type of movie. This movie plays for the faithful who believe that life is treating them unfairly… First world problems. Get what I mean? That, and this is really not a thinking person’s movie either. I know that sounds like I’m insulting the people who enjoyed it, and to some extent… yeah, I kind of am. This kind of ham-fisted intellectual dishonesty doesn’t bother to ask you to think about things, it tells you what to think and puts on airs like it did its research so you don’t have to.
What’s more, as I’ve said before, this movie is just… angry. Now, if Christianity was actually under attack like the Christians keep saying it is, I would understand, but the complaints being raised in this movie are tantamount to a temper tantrum like a little girl screaming at the top of her lungs because mommy and daddy won’t buy her another Bratz doll.
God is Not Dead is a gigantic straw man debate. It’s an exercise in semantics… a soap opera with incredibly bad film making and dumbed down characters. Every Christian is persecuted, every Atheist is a fascist who actually believes in God but is angry with him for some reason… I would say characters are painted in broad strokes, but that would imply some sort of art is at work in this propaganda hit piece.
By the time this trash was over, the evil Atheist professor got what the movie obviously felt was coming to him — Spoiler alert: He dies because… he deserved it, apparently. Buy hey, according to the movie, it was actually a “gift from God” so… yeah…
This is the kind of sick morality that this supposedly moral family movie is presenting its audience with.
I know… I know… If you’re one of the faithful, you’re probably thinking that I am biased and I will admit, I am biased. I’m biased against bad movies with questionable motivations. I could really give a tinker’s cuss about the religion or God angle because, as I’ve said, I don’t have to believe in something to enjoy a movie about it… What I hate about this movie is that it is so shallow, so simple-minded, and so sick in the head. This isn’t a lovingly crafted movie, folks… it was a cheap way to get money. That’s it… money. I hate this movie on the same level that I hate crappy found footage movies or cheaply made CGI cartoons or those Smurf movies… it’s there to exist and to make money. That’s it… The makers of God’s Not Dead don’t care about your eternal soul or the religious conversation of movie patrons, they care about ticket sales. You are nothing but a commodity to them.
If they give a darn about deeper meanings and spirituality, they would have tried harder, but they sought out to appeal to the angry entitled butthurt Christian crowds… the lowest possible denominator… and pushed out this turd for the cash. If you are a Christian reading this, believe me… you and your beliefs deserve better.
This is a disgusting movie.
By the time the shockingly sick ending played out, I have to admit I think I was converted momentarily as I rose to my feet, raised by hands to the air and screamed to the savior above, “JESUS CHRIST, THIS MOVIE IS TERRIBLE!”