0/4 BOMBI'm a movie buff who was originally interested in this movie to see a debate between God and science. Let me start by saying, I walked in knowing the sub-par standards of Christian movies. I also walked in knowing that it had the potential to be a very enjoyable movie. This was not the case. I hated every second of it. This was not a debate in fact, it was dogma. I have many issues with this movie, which are listed in depth below.1-Film Content )
The film is blatant propaganda. There is no way around it. That in itself is not a bad thing, but God's Not Dead takes such an overwhelmingly aggressive and negative tone. It becomes little more than an attack on all other world views. All atheists are portrayed as "inferior", and on top of that, the arguments the protagonist presents are brash and illogical. The makers of this movie have challenged everyone from physicists like Stephen Hawking to the great philosophers of old. Sitting through God's Not Dead would have been more enjoyable had the arguments been backed by actual logic, but at the same time, far less memorable.2-Character Developments/Portrayals )
The protagonist is my least favorite character in the entire movie. That's something I have only been able to say 4 or 5 times. He was arrogant in his arguments and he was childish in his demeanor. He thought he knew everything, and apparently so did the cast. He (and the avid atheist) based his argument on emotion rather than reason. After 85 or so minutes of waiting for a climax, he decides to shame the emotionally crippled atheist in front of an audience, ultimately forcing him to yield. It was an interesting sequence of events as far as a cinema standpoint (the atheist dies 5 minutes later because he was hit by a car), but as for the boy "evangelizing" both the on-screen and real life audience... not so much.
In addition, the atheist felt molded to represent the many people who aren't Christian: an angry, lifeless bad person. This doesn't much contradict the lead role who feels molded to represent the masses who are: an angry, lifeless good person. I feel like it does it's own religion a disservice, it paints a very bland, colorless picture of Christianity, probably a little less likable than atheism. All people are so much more than their worldview, and this movie does nothing to provide you a relatable character or the human condition. It's either a flawless zealot or a broken atheist. 3-Acting/Cinematography )
With everything else going on, I don't expect everyone to have picked up on this one. The camera was very choppy, especially in the classroom and at the concert. The acting really is fairly good, but the main characters too dominant, and the side roles are not allowed to facet their abilities and contribute to the story. (the lady with terminal cancer is a perfect example)4-The Way It Resonated )
I would imagine that God's Not Dead has reached a few people, but only by giving them an ultimatum. The atheist who gets hit by the car has "one last chance to make it to heaven", the lady who has terminal cancer "better hurt up and accept Him". It almost made the impression that evangelism is all about scaring people with the possibility of hell. Of course, one can't complain, since the movie failed on the other front of trying to present a series of valid arguments.This movie should not be representative of Christian movies. It should be characterized by movies which delve deeper into self-struggle and the thirst for spiritual knowledge, two things evidently lacking in God's Not Dead. Anyone who isn't a Christian will be guaranteed to hate this to hell. I sure did!
Just a note: I was forced to watch this, by my mother. I didn't have much of a bias toward this film, though, even if I did have to watch it. Honestly, I was almost looking forward to it a bit (we got it on DVD). "Maybe it'll be okay," I thought, "There are (several) good religious films out there, after all, it got a good review from the Dove Foundation!" Unfortunately, after a quick search, I realized that every Christian movie out there got a good review from the Dove Foundation, whether or not it was a decent film, and how I wish to live in the ignorant bliss of when I thought otherwise.So I sat down, and with a spark of anticipation in my eyes, I hoped that I wouldn't be disappointed.
I was disappointed. As well as shocked.This isn't an exaggeration, even, here's a quick rundown of the characters:
Our protagonist and the other Christians (except the girlfriend): Kind, compassionate human beings
Muslim dad: Emotionally and physically abusive, kicks his daughter out of the house because she's listening to Christian passages.
Liberalist reporter: Condescending to Christians (ironic, as the movie itself does that), arrogant and snobby (that is, until she gets cancer, as a wonderful moral, if you don't believe in god, you'll get a terminal illness and die slowly and painfully)
Last and the least 3-dimensional, the Atheist professor: The villain of the story, and he's an atheist because his mom died, instead of, you know, just not believing in an almighty figure because he chose not toLet's not even discuss that the entire concept is a plot hole (Dude, read your rights, report the professor, just drop out of the class, anything but this plan that's just going to hurt you and everyone else around you- and signing your religion away is also definitely illegal, so on that level, you should have no problem, just go with the first and/or second methods. If that doesn't work in whatever universe you're living in, really, just quit the class, you're fighting an obvious straw man here.)This piece of trash depicts everyone who's not Christian as the face of evil, and that's very offensive, and just wrong.And on the same level, it's offensive to the majority of Christians, by showing that they apparently have a hate-filled agenda to others, when really, they don't at all.
On the bright side, though, God's Not Dead did something truly unique- it united both the Atheists and most Christians to agree in tandem- this movie sucks.But subtleties matter- because there's a reason I said I DIDN'T have much of a bias, and MOST Christians were united on the stand that this was an awful flick.
If you check out the statistics for the reviews, you'll find that while a large percent of people gave this 1 star, almost 30% gave it a 10. That's because, although there were definitely some trolls, this movie did find an audience; that's how they raked in a lot of their $70 million bucks, in fact.These are the conservatives, the incredibly strict Christians who want to feel like the victim, and want to have everyone seem like terrible people except them, and my mother's one of them.(I'm not saying they aren't good people, I'm not going to judge that. I'm a teenager, which means I'm the exact opposite demographic for this, and I don't want to attack anyone or be attacked.)I DID not have a bias against religious films, but now I do, because guess what, my mother and her friends said this was a great film, not a good one, but a GREAT film.
And that's what terrifies me about this. There are people who, maybe not out of hate, believe this is the way the world is and this is the way non-Christians act. And because of this, there's an ever-growing supply of these hateful, brash films. There's a sequel of God's Not Dead, even more oblivious to real life than the first (the ending, it would be hilarious if it weren't so disturbing), and another in the making. I'm sick of these movies. I'm sick of the ignorant messages and bland pop songs and the fact that they all make a profit.Believe whatever you want to believe, I did Confirmation, I can accept that, just stop feeding the flame of these movies. Even if you are in my mom's demographic and have somehow stumbled upon this review, don't watch it. Please.