Christian film is a genre that I have never really explored before, I remember having seen sections of films like this before and just thinking how fake, forced and cringey them seemed. However with God’s Not Dead I dared to dream, thinking that a credible movie could be made dealing with the themes of religion and Christianity more specifically.
Unfortunately this isn’t achieved, although it was never going to be achievable simply because of the nature of the film. God’s Not Dead is not really a film, it could be more accurately labelled as an evangelical tool. It is clear to see that the makers of this film have a reason for making it, they are trying to get across a particular message, and that is fine it just meant that instead of focusing on the entertainment of any possible viewers it is more concerned with the intention behind the movie – evangelism. I have no problem with this at all however the result is that it was always going to be difficult to make it into a good movie. Despite this issue I have with God’s Not Dead in terms of its potential as a film it did deliver in some aspects.
Unfortunately for the first half of the film I was quite bored, it was full of cliches and moved along quite slowly, however once we hit the halfway point things did change. The scene in which things changed was when we find out why Professor Radisson hates God, here was the first real show of believable emotion in the film and immediately after this we get another emotion filled scene. This was effective as it took advantage of the scene previous and built on it. This was when things turned round for me and I began to enjoy God’s Not Dead as a film and not just as an evangelical tool. Another thing that God’s Not Dead was good at was portraying struggles and problems that people in the church face, and also those who don’t associate with church. I was quite impressed with this as once you sifted through the wave of cliches there was actually some solid stuff there. The acting was patchy at best however there were some really good performances in there and it was a lot better in this area then I expected. All I could think of whilst watching Kevin Sorbo playing Radisson was Hugh Laurie’s House, certainly something that would have made this a better movie although he does a good job. The ending of the film edges back towards the more cliched Christian cinema that people will come to expect and does little to help the viewer remember God’s Not Dead in a positive light.
God’s Not Dead presented what should have been a really interesting topic for a film however it’s evangelical intentions hold it back in regards to it’s potential as a film – although I am sure that this will not bother the film makers as it won’t have been their intentions to just make a great film. Although a step closer to infiltrating Christian themes into mainstream cinema, good attempt.
BIGGEST FLAW – The obvious evangelical intentions
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Portraying emotion well in several instances
Rating – 6.5/10