Bit of a fun fact before we get this sin train rolling: I actually prayed for a Subway sandwich last year as I was feeling especially peckish after a night of drinking with the new schoolmates. And this is the scary part: exactly 69 days later SOMEONE ate a Subway sandwich SOMEWHERE in the world, probably. Coincidence? I think not! God’s not dead, ladies and gentlemen. He is “surely alive”.
You know that old saying about how the sequel’s never quite up to par with the original film? God’s Not Dead 2 completely obliterates that cliché, because this one is so amazingly insane and so out-of-touch with things in general that it makes the first God’s Not Dead play like a documentary on how humans speak, what atheists are like, and how feeble their arguments for not believing in God are. Or to parrot the logic of the films: their arguments as to why nobody is allowed to believe in God, which is a point that Christians absolutely love to refute in spite of the fact that no-one is actually making it.
I mean what I’m saying, dear readers. If you cringed at the first God’s Not Dead for how many points it managed to miss/missrepresent within such a short time frame and how sure of itself it managed to come off despite that, you will be glad to hear that the follow-up is not only stupid, but so much more so than its predecessor that it’s actually kind of entertaining. I’d say we have our first movie of 2016 that’s “so bad it’s cute” (in parts, at least).
Even as you read its synopsis, you know this is a sequel that goes the extra mile and visits unique places. Melissa Joan Hart plays a high school teacher who quotes the Bible in class one day, something that a student who thinks none of that is welcome in the classroom (Hayley Orrantia) is quick to pick up on and expose. So then, and I promise you with my hand on my heart that this is what the movie’s actually about, the student sues the teacher (atheists at it again, I guess) and a huge trial takes place, meaning much of this movie is basically a court room drama in which a bunch of well-spoken and attractive Christian youngsters proceed to argue with gloomy old atheist curmudgeons about whether or not God is dead or whatever. Jesse Metcalfe serves the former purpose in the form of Grace’s lawyer and I’m pretty sure I saw Ernie Hudson somewhere in there.
Ray Wise is in the movie too, playing the most evil figure he’s portrayed since Twin Peaks. But whereas his character on that show only raped and murdered his own daughter and niece under the influence of a demonic psychopath, the person he portrays in this movie is an atheist grump who wants God to be dead (whatever that means) and that’s just taking it waaay too far. Sorry for spoiling a show that’s almost 30 years old, by the way.
If you were to ask the makers of this film how many cases they can name wherein an atheist has sued a school employee (or anyone) for simply quoting a Bible passage to make a point, they’ll probably answer you the exact same way as they’d answer the question of how many instances there are of scientific theories being disproven by religion and not vice versa. And you know what? That’s what’s so utterly charming about these movies and the very Christians who take the time to make them. I love how they let us share their perception of the world and see what goes on inside their little noggins when us heathens come along with our pesky opinions and won’t go away (as if to imply that praying to that omnipotent wizard in the clouds isn’t enough to make us disappear forever).
The way that God’s Not Dead 1 and 2 understand atheism needs to be documented and remembered for all time, so that we may teach future generations how warped one’s view of life can get if they don’t wish to correctly process facts and arguments that inconvenience their beliefs. I know that nobody non-expendable is at risk of taking these movies seriously so we should probably just be glad that we now have something we can use as an example of how bad it can get if you neglect critical thinking. This is, ironically, a piece that says more about Christians than it does about atheists.
So don’t let it reach this point, kids. When you have made a movie that turns all of your opponents into more obvious strawmen than that of The Wizard of Oz, even though most of the things they say still make perfect sense even as you attempt to paint them as silly, chances are there’s no going back and we should just put you down. It shouldn’t worry you in the slightest if you’re convinced you’ll get your 72 Virginians in Hindu heaven afterwards, right? Mazel tov.
Our only hope now is that there was a reason this movie had its premiere on April 1st. Whether this is a deliberately bad film or not, I do partially recommend it as a “see it to believe it” experience. Unless you’re religious; then you can just take my word for it since that’s apparently all it takes.
In the comment section for its trailer, Christians a plenty come to the film’s defense, stating that atheists shouldn’t open their hateful gobs about a film that was never made for them to begin with. That’s all fine and good. Who IS this movie for, though? Sea sponges? That’s about the level on which its grasp of the world lies. Though to be fair, movies like this might be the reason sponges won’t talk to us.