Thursday, April 10, 2014
God's Not Dead Review
The movie has a lot of side stories that I will touch on briefly, but the main story we follow is a college student named Josh Wheaton. Josh is taking a philosophy class from Professor Radisson. On the first day of class, Professor Radisson gives a big lecture on why there is no God. He makes the whole class get out a piece of paper and write the words "God is dead" on the paper, sign their name, and turn it in. Josh can't do it because he is a Christian and thus has a strong belief in God. He feels if he does this, then he is betraying his God. So what does Professor Radisson do? For the next three class periods, Josh has to get up during the last 20 minutes and defend the idea that God's not dead. If he fails, the jury being his classmates, he will essentially fail the class. While this is going on, there are several side stories that show various people dealing with challenges of their own.
For a small budget movie, one thing I was surprised is how well the more technical aspects of the movie were. It was shot well. The music was great. The acting was even phenomenal across the board. I especially liked the performance of one of the side characters who gets diagnosed with cancer. There is a scene where she completely loses it and it is so emotional that it almost brought me to tears. But as I mentioned, this movie is far from perfect. First off, while I really liked the strong Christian message of the movie, there could've been a lot more thought put into the actual story of the movie. Yes, the message is great, but some of the things that happen just feel forced and unrealistic. Like I mentioned, the situation with Josh seems a bit far-fetched. How it resolves is also not done so well. I won't say what happens with Professor Radisson, but his story arch in the last part of the movie is disappointing. Also, the girl who gets diagnosed with cancer tells her boyfriend that she has cancer and what does he do? He breaks up with her. I mean, come on. I know they were trying to set something up where life just kept collapsing on this girl, but would anyone really be that insensitive? Absolutely not.
Those things aside, I did walk out of this movie with a positive feeling towards the movie. Some reviews of the movie I have read say they don't like it because it is preachy and just Christian propaganda. Uhhh... of course. What did you think it was going to be? If you don't want to see a movie that will preach to you that God's not dead, don't go watch a movie called God's Not Dead. Overall, I've been comparing this movie to the type of movies that the Sherwood Baptist Church has put out, most notably Fireproof and Courageous. If you like those movies, I think you will like this one, because it has a similar feel. Yes, a lot of the story aspects could've been a lot more believable and the movie could've been more respectful to non-Christians, but the movie tries to teach a message that God's not dead and in that aspect it does what it sets out to do. If you are not a Christian, unfortunately this isn't the movie that will turn the tables for you, but if you are a Christian, I think you should give this movie a shot. I give God's Not Dead a 7.5/10