Posted on Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016 by Jacob Hall
As a secular heathen whose soul is destined for the fiery pits of Hell, I try to give faith-based movies the benefit of the doubt. These movies were not made for me. I am not the intended audience. I let the vast majority of these movies pass me by and we are allowed to peacefully co-exist. I even thought Risen looked pretty darn interesting for a “Christian” film, and I’m the kind of person who thinks The Last Temptation of Christ is the best “Christian” movie ever made.
That brings us to the trailer for God’s Not Dead 2, a movie that exists so it can literally preach the choir. I find this movie fascinating not because it looks good (it looks cheap and bad), but because the cackling villains featured in the trailer ultimately come off looking pretty reasonable and level-headed.
Then again the trailer does open with the slumming-for-a-paycheck Ray Wise literally declaring “We’re going to prove once and for all that God is dead!”, which the kind of B-movie villainy that I enjoy very much. That’s not going to get me to see God’s Not Dead 2, but I appreciate the effort.
The first God’s Not Dead found a young college student going toe-to-toe with his liberal college professor (played by ’90s relic Kevin Sorbo) after he declares that you-know-who is you-know-what. The sequel is completely disconnected, following a teacher (played by ’90s relic Melissa Joan Hart) who accidentally preaches in class and finds herself forced to defend her faith against an eeevil Civil Liberties Group in a court of law.
If you’re wondering why this movie exists, you simply have to look to the numbers. God’s Not Dead received terrible reviews, but it only cost $2 million to produce and played exceptionally well to its intended audience, growing $60 million at the domestic box office. It’s easy to imagine the follow-up pulling similar numbers and director Harold Cronk prepping God’s Not Dead With a Vengeance.
There are moments in this trailer that make me groan. There are lines of dialogue that make me laugh out loud. From my personal perspective, the “bad guys” in this movie have a point and that Melissa Joan Hart’s character represents a persecution complex that has infected too many Americans. But then again, this movie is not for me and I won’t make fun of it. You can do that for me in the comments below. Or you can defend it. It’s a free-enough world.
God’s Not Dead 2 opens on April 1, 2016. While I’m holding off on poking fun at the movie itself, I will poke fun at the poster below, which is a hideous example of what happens when you don’t hire a competent designer.