There has been a lot of hoopla and rhubarb surrounding the March release of God’s Not Dead, Pure Flix Entertainment’s latest and biggest offering in the “Christian movie” genre. Scores of articles have been written calling the movie everything from a mess, “family-approved”, a celebrated success, melodramatic, and a tract made into a movie, worth seeing; to name a few of the reviews.
Needless to say the differences in reception played out when my wife and I saw this movie. We both agreed that the movie was not that good. However, we differed on what the message of the movie was and what kind of effect it will have on audiences. In the interest of fairness, I dug deep to come up with 5 pros of this movie and also 5 cons, which was much easier, and present them here in tweet form (140 characters or less for the unfamiliar).
THE FIVE PROS
Kevin Sorbo stands out by having the most developed character and a strong acting presence in the midst of inferior characters #Hercules
Dean Cain’s Mom’s Quote
Sin is like a jail cell except its nice&comfy & there doesn’t seem to be any need 2 leave. The door is wide open. Until 1 day it slams shut
Rev Dave & Missionary
The comedy is a bit silly and over done at times, but I thought those two characters were genuinely funny and entertaining
“That guy” who didn’t stand up
In the penultimate scene, Josh convinces everyone in his class to declare, “God’s Not Dead.” *groan*… Except one guy. Hilarious!
The Cinema Kindergarten teacher gives “God’s Not Dead” an “A” for really trying its best
THE FIVE CONS
Bad, bad acting
So…much…bad…acting…must…call…for help. Josh’s girlfriend, Amy, Mina, *ack*
Bad acting probably made so bad by terrible, paper-thin characters with no meaningful development. Lazy writing #nostory
Cheesy and poor plot developments
More bad storytelling and rushed sub-plots make for terrible pacing and wretched plot development #morelazywriting
“Us” versus “Them” mentality
Movie seems to thrive off of the “Christian good, Atheist bad,” mantra that permeates the oft-annoying culture wars #Foxnews
Don’t try to save people with movies, tell a good story!
When you tell a good story, it creates dialogue about the message and plot depth. Please refer to your Bibles for proof of this #seriously
THE FINAL SKINNY
The movie was so agonizingly bad at times and the story was so contrived it felt like a propaganda film. My wife says I am being way too critical of the producers/directors/writers, but I feel I am merely doing my due diligence to let you know that this movie is worth seeing, but is overly ham-fisted and poorly done to warrant any staying power.
I feel a movie like the Matrix, which borrows from many faiths, has a better and more enduring message than God’s Not Dead. It’s because the story is good and the dialogue raises so many good questions about faith, eternity, destiny, life, pain, progress, humanity, etc. As my last point said, you don’t need to save people with movies. Tell good stories!