tisdag 12 oktober 2021

God´s Not Dead: We The People

Ah yes, evangelical American christian films, what would life be without them? I can imagine life would be pretty boring. Imagine having films without bad acting, bad cinematography, horrible dialogue, who would say no to that? Not me at least, and that´s probably why i have seen quite of few of these kinds of films over the years. Not that i actually enjoy them, but i just happen to enjoy suffering for a moment. Why? Well, if im going to confess i am a sinner, i might as well do it correctly by watching bad evangelical films. I never really understood why there are so many American evangelical films that are so bad. It´s like these directors went into the studio meeting and said the following:

Director:- Hey man, listen i have this idea for a film
Film studio:- Really? What is the film about?
Director:- Well its a film about faith, but there is no real plot
Film studio:- Wow, sounds fantastic, we want to make it
Director:- Really? But there is no real script?
Film studio:- Who cares, as long as the bible is mentioned, that´s all we care about
Director:- Oh wow, thanks man, but what actors will want to make it?
Film studio:- Don´t worry about it, we only choose the best actors
Director:- Are you sure they will accept the offer?
Film studio:- Of course, they make any film we want, you know....in case Jesus returns
Director:- Right on, i guess we should do this then?
Film studio:- Sure, now you need to go, we are heading to the local strip club, it´s Taco Tuesday
Director:- Can i come as well?
Film studio:- It depends, will you tell your Pastor?
Director:- No way, i take my faith seriously
Film studio:- Well, you convinced us, so yeah, let´s get out of here

Of course i can´t prove that this is how a meeting is made for evangelical christian films, but it does make perfect sense. I can imagine that this could be what it would sound like, since they clearly know how to choose the right scripts. I wonder if film companies like Pure Flix have ever considered writing a really good script, because the films i have seen them make, have not had solid scripts. And when you add some bad acting to that, does not make it much better. Now, one of the most successfull evangelical films has to be the the 2014 film God´s Not Dead from director Harold Cronk. On a budget of 2 million, it made over 60 million dollars at the box office. Not bad numbers, but i can´t say it´s a good film. I have seen God´s Not Dead, and the best thing i can say is that Kevin Sorbo in the lead role was the best part of the film. I reviewed the sequel God´s Not Dead 2, wich is even worse than the first film, wich clearly showed that they could not make a sequel. I did not see the third film God´s Not Dead: A Light In Darkness, even if i thought about reviewing the film. Perhaps it´s better that way, since i had no high expectations. So here we are in 2021 with a 4th film in the God´s Not Dead franchise. I still remember when i first saw the trailer of this film, i had a really good laugh. Not because this film is supposed to be a comedy, but the serious tone of this film looked way too serious. So i decided to sit down and actually give this film a chance, because you never know, maybe i will love this 4th film? Is this the best evangelical film ever made, or is God´s Not Dead: We The People even worse than i expected?

Homeschooling mother Rebecca McKinnon ( Fransesca Battistelli ) is helping children wih education, in her own home. Her husband Mike McKinnon ( Antonio Sabato Jr ) is very supportive to this, since this is the best way to educate children. Each week Rev. David Hill ( David A.R. White ) spends time teaching children Bible lessons, in the home of Rebecca and Mike, who are also homeschooling their two children, Brandon McKinnon ( Matt Anspach ) and Shannon McKinnon ( Tatum Hatfield ). One day at the McKinnon´s home, while Rev. David is teaching about Noah´s Ark, a social worker visits to see if the homeschool lesson is approved to help children with education. She is not impressed, and the family soon recieve a letter where they have to let their children go into a public school, and if they don´t do this within 10 days, there will be legal problems, where they could be incarcerated. Rev. David is willing to help this family fight against the legal system, to prove that American freedom is everyone´s right to choose.

I really tried giving this film a chance, just to see if i could find something positive to say, after all i am a nice guy ( i promise ). After watching God´s Not Dead: We The People i especially realise why i have a problem with films like these. They are not very realistic, and let me explain why. I can not imagine that a case of homeschooling would get this much attention in court, as this case does. It´s like it´s the biggest court case in history, and this film really tries to lift this up as if this is about ( all ) christians, and that everyone is a victim. If you are going to make a court drama, you should probably bring up a realistic case, that would actually go up in court for a very serious reason. After all, there are a lot of court cases that are actually very serious, such as abuse, murder, accidents, drunk driving and many other subjects. I know, christians will say that homeschooling is a very serious issue, and perhaps it is for them. But if they expect me to believe that it would be chaos in court over a case of homeschooling as this film tries to portrait, i just can´t buy it. It´s possible that there have been court cases of homeschooling ( i´m not even going to try and google it, that´s how much i care ), but the way it is portrayed in God´s Not Dead: We The People, it´s like this is the Apocalypse that we all have been waiting for. Public school is Satan basically, we can no have children going to public school, they will become demonic. So what about the characters of this film, are they any good? Well, let us begin with actor David A.R. White ( who you all remember from the classic Jerusalem Countdown ) as the character Reverend Dave Hill. He looks like a combination of Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain and Nickelback singer Chad Kroeger, with his 90´s hair style, and that´s actually the best part about him. When it comes to acting, he does exactly the same thing he did in God´s Not Dead and God´s Not Dead 2, and that is he does not act professionally. No facial expressions, and no emotions, and maybe this is the way he prefers to act. General Hospital actor Antoio Sabato Jr shows once again that he is not a solid actor, delivering a dull performance as the character Mike. Legendary actor William Forsythe is in this film ( i have no idea why, maybe he got paid well? ) and he might actually be the best part of this film. Not that he really act that powerful ( compared to a lot of his classics ), but you can sense that he´s at least acting, compared to a lot of the other actors in the film. Anything positive to say about the film in general? Perhaps certain scenes where they are trying to be dead serious about the subject of home schooling, that it almost feels like a Saturday Night Live sketch. And when you are trying to be serious and fail, you know it´s good comedy material. Director Vance Null ( who is actually the editor of the first God´s Not Dead film ) tries to deliver a very patriotic evangelical film, that´s supposed to make you feel sorry for evnagelical Trump supporters. I don´t feel sorry for any of them, because this film does exactly the same thing that God´s Not Dead 2 did, try and force your beliefs on others, and don´t disagree, since they are the ones who are right. If i don´t find any good comedy this Christmas, i know i can always go back to God´s Not Dead: We The People and get some good laughs. There is not much else to find in this film, honestly.

Rating: D

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