‘God’s Not Dead 2’ Review: Jesus defended in the courtroom highlights our divisions
Don’t believe the ridiculous reviews giving the film one star or the 2.8 score on IMDB. God’s Not Dead 2 repeats the successful formula of the first film, which has resulted in similar criticisms of baseless insults and attacks towards Christians.
GND2 is certainly targeting the “choir,” choosing to engage the “silent majority” against the attempts to eradicate Christianity from the public square. Highlighting this new version of “separation of church and state” is at the heart of the film and filmmakers’ agenda.
Melissa Joan Hart plays Grace Wesley, a Teacher of the Year who responds to a Jesus question in a history class, sparking controversy, lawsuits and a cascade of consequences and legal actions. Dallas star Jesse Metcalfe is brought in as her attorney, Tom, who is both a skeptic and a seeker of the truth.
Packed full of cliches, similar to the first film, GND2 journeys through several questions and challenges of faith: what and why do you believe, can you stand against authority and family in order to stand with God, what are the legal ramifications of religious context in a classroom, does the historical Jesus prove to be reason enough to be included alongside of Martin Luther King Jr. or Gandhi and what defines persecution, establishment of religion and endorsement.
Critics are correct as the film offers a heavy handed stereotype of the ACLU attorney (Ray Wise), uncaring parents and the atheist protesters being the only ones aggressive or out of line. More frustrating is how improbable the court scenes are handled.
Pure Flix and director Harold Cronk continue the “crash” approach to storytelling to move characters along without spoon feeding Hollywood endings and cliches.
Movies and TV has mocked Christians, traditional families and evangelicals, so an aggressive atheist archetype, a volatile Communist Chinese father and the hollow unbeliever get their turn on the hot seat.
Pure Flix doesn’t shy away from being a Christian film first and foremost. The Newsboys have a bigger role and the “miracle” ending is a bit more contrived than even the first film, but the faithful will love it.
God’s Not Dead 2 receives 2 1/2 stars out of 5 stars
If you hated the first film or you align with the Freedom From Religion advocates, trying to eliminate Jesus talk from the public arena, you will despise the film.