God’s Not Dead: A Light in Darkness and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pure Flix Entertainment
Directed by Michael Mason
Is there any single entity that manages to put out worse garbage to the cinemas than Pure Flix? Yes, Eli Roth. Other than HIM though, Pure Flix is easily the biggest blight on my existence as a film critic and I dread their releases more than anything else; God’s Not Dead 2 in particular being one of the lowest points I’ve ever had sitting in a theater. Now watching them in a Post-SCROTUS America? Good LORD, I can’t imagine how smug these reprehensible pieces of Christian propaganda will be while STILL acting like they’re the biggest victim of systemic oppression (spoiler alert, they aren’t). Can Pure Flix sink to an even LOWER level than they’ve managed to in the past? With God on their side, ANYTHING is possible! Let’s find out!!
After the events of the last film (ugh…), Pastor Dave (David AR White) has been released from jail and the charges dropped over him refusing a court order to hand over his sermons to… the government or something. THANKFULLY the movie isn’t about THAT, lest I wouldn’t have made it out of this screening in one piece, and instead we jump ahead a little bit in time where Pastor Dave has become kind of a local celebrity as the guy who’s church fought the government and won; though with celebrity comes infamy and his church has been getting a lot of heat. Apparently the church itself is affiliated with the local college (I’m ASSUMING the same one from the first film) and there’s a growing movement among the student body to have the church removed for… existing I guess (okay…) and the board of directors at the college are TERRIFIED (okay…) and ready to cow tow to the angry mob’s demands. If only something were to happen that would make the decision that much easier. Well I guess God must have been listening to THAT prayer because one of the students (Mike C Manning) is angry at the church due to his girlfriend (Samantha Boscarino) dumping him over being an annoying Atheist jerk, and so he throws a brick through the window. Wouldn’t you know it though; the brick hits a gas pipe and EXPLODES the freaking thing along with David’s best buddy from the previous films, Reverend Jude (Benjamin A Onyango). Well now that a poor pipe work and a hot headed kid have done most of the work for them, the College Board decides to take the land away from Reverend Dave with the right of Eminent Domain (okay…) which our stalwart hero CLEARLY has a problem with. He’s SO angry about this that he does the ONE THING he really doesn’t want to do which is to call his Atheist brother in the big city Pearce (John Corbett) to help him fight his case against the college. With some resignation and more than a bit of smugness, Pearce agrees to take the case and the two set forth to plan the best defense they have to keep the land and get the church rebuilt. Can the two brothers put aside their differences long enough to save this house of God along with their strained relationship? Just how far will the (supposedly) anti-Christian protesters go to destroy this church, and how far will the other side go to keep it? Is it just me, or did this movie make a REALLY good decision by having David AR White be sad the whole time?
Considering the kind of movies he’s made, I feel like he should be this sad more often.
God’s Not Dead 2 and all the images you see in this review are owned by Pure Flix Entertainment
Directed by Harold Cronk
The first God’s Not Dead movie came out about the same time as Captain America the Winter Solider. Went I went to see Captain America with some friends, the lines for the respective theaters lined up just right so that the Captain American line was right next to the God’s Not Dead line; two parallel lines essentially. I looked up and down the Captain America line, and saw kids, adults, families, millennials; all of different backgrounds and races. I look across from me and see the God’s Not Dead line which is filled with nothing but middle aged white people, and the young children of middle aged white people. The first movie was an unconscionably awful smear against everyone who didn’t subscribe to the filmmakers point of view, and I expect nothing less than that from the sequel. Is this just as bad, or can this possibly be worse? Let’s find out…
The movie is somewhat of a sequel to the original with only some of the secondary characters returning and there being a new protagonist (so basically the View Askewniverse for Evangelicals). The one to take over main character duties from Josh Wheaton is Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart); a high school history teacher and devout Christian. What kind of Christian? Eh… it doesn’t matter I’m gonna guess she’s a Jehovah’s Witness. Anyway, one of her students Brooke (Hayley Orrantia) is trying to deal with the death of her brother, but isn’t getting much support from her ATHIEST parents who seem to be emotionally dead and barely registering that their son has died. I guess that’s what happens when you sell your soul to Satan or whatever they believe Atheist do. Brooke eventually approaches Grace outside of school for some advice and she learns that Grace gets through all the bad times do to her belief in Jesus. Cut to sometime later and it turns out that her brother was a closet Christian (okay…) which prompts her to read up on the Bible and she manages to get some comfort out of that. Fair enough, but here’s where things get tricky. Grace is teaching about non-violent protest leaders such as Gandhi and Martin Luther King, which prompts Brooke to ask if a parallel can be drawn between them and Jesus. Grace answers the question, all hell breaks loose as the school board finds out, and eventually she finds herself embroiled in a court case with her plucky lawyer Tom (Jesse Metcalfe) despite him being a “non-believer” (*cough* Bullshit *cough*). While this is going on, we also see how this case is affecting some of the characters who return from the last movie such as Pastor Dave (David AR White) who JUST SO HAPPENS to end up on the jury for the trial. It’s almost like it was fate or something! Can Grace and Tom win this case to preserve everyone’s right to their own faith? Will The Bad GuysTM manage to stop them and put all Christians to death in the process? DID THIS MOVIE JUST SEQUEL BAIT US!?
I think you and I are destined to do this forever…