God's Not Dead review by Michelle Sommerville - Cinema Paradiso
The experienced Kevin Sorbo and newcomer Shane Harper face off in the most recent Christian-based film to hit the big screen, arguing the controversial question: Is God Dead? The film is a perfect mix of logic and emotion, that anyone and everyone will love.
The recent influx of Christian-based films and mini-series’ is a wonderful thing. Watching them not only gets people talking, but also shows how God’s thousand-year-old promises are still accessible to us today.
Josh Wheaton (Harper) does not know what he is in for when he signs up to the college philosophy course, run by Professor Radisson (Sorbo). The students are all offered an easy passing grade, if they simply write: ‘God is Dead’. Wheaton, a Christian, refuses. Radisson offers an opportunity for him to pass: prove God is not dead. Wheaton accepts, but struggles to find the right words. He knows God sent him there for this very reason. He cannot fail.
Sometimes it is hard to describe exactly why you love a movie, but others times, everything just works.
There are not many familiar faces in the cast, but I am sure we will be seeing many of them in leading roles in the future. Kevin Sorbo is not as we have seen him before. He is not a Greek hero. He does not show-off his rippling muscles. Instead, he plays the role of the antagonist perfectly, not only portraying a human obstacle the hero must overcome, but also allowing his own character to come to life. Shane Harper brilliantly takes on the pressure-filled leading role. Coming from a mainly dancing background, it is amazing to see the depth of acting-emotion he has – though he still has room for improvement. Special guest stars such as Willie and Korie Robertson, from Duck Dynasty also bring a more light-hearted feel to the film.
Christian music has been growing in popularity over the years, and the Christian pop-rock band Newsboys – whose songs feature in the film – are sure to gain more fans with their inspiring music.
Overall, the film gives a very important lesson to learn. Colleges and universities all over the world claim to want open-mindedness, but criticise and taunt when a Christian walks in. There are legitimate arguments proving God’s existence, and so-called intellectuals need to hear it. Films like these get people talking about Christianity and doing the research for themselves.
As can be expected, most online reviews are very unfavourable. Criticisms range from its general faith-based story, to how preachy it was, and even the camera techniques. Despite this, audiences are quickly filling the seats and proclaiming their approval.
Not everything in this film is perfect – such as their stand on evolution and the big bang theory – so it’s important to watch the film, but then go out and read the Bible. This film was shot in a total of twenty days and has already gained over thirty-times its production budget. There is a definite market for Christian-based films and it seems, for the meantime at least, they are here to stay.