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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Sunday, March 2, 2014


They call him Jesus of Nazareth.

Despite being the Bible, it has not been explored in the movie industry as much as it should have. In fact, the last major Christian movie was The Passion of the Christ, which was ten years ago. And before that, the last 'big one' was The Ten Commandments, from 1956! Since The Passion, there have been a number of Christian movies such as Fireproof and Courageous. But outside the the Biblical audience, those films aren't that well known to others. That is what's so exciting about Son of God. The announcement came almost out of nowhere, I was shocked that it would be an actual theatrical release worldwide. Now that it's officially out, how exactly was it?  There will be complaints, of course. Liberties are taken. But in the end, it does what it sets out to do: tell the story of Jesus Christ.

What a lot of people don't know going into the theater is that this movie was actually part of The Bible mini-series awhile back on the History Channel. What they did was splice together certain parts for a movie experience. Some of it you can tell has more of TV budget than film, but it's nothing too bad. The intro I particularly liked, a very nice prologue featuring all the key Bible Scriptures from the Old Testament. After that, we head on over to the main story. The film is over two hours, so I can't believe I'm saying this, but it could have actually benefited from another hour. The birth scene could have been longer and more detailed. The fact that the Satan scenes were removed didn't help matters. How great would it have been to see the Three Temptations adapted for the big screen? It was a truly missed opportunity.

Diogo Morgado had an interesting thing ahead of him; portraying Jesus is always a challenging but accomplishing task. I am definitely pleased with how the portrayal came out. He portrayed happiness, righteous anger, and sadness effectively. He nicely delivered all the core verses Jesus said in the Scriptures. The Disciples, while technically getting screen time, don't stand out other than being "the disciples of Jesus." Only Peter and Judas really are given importance, even John the Baptist is surprisingly not a big deal in the film. But, Mary Magdalene is. She was definitely one of the best written of the people in the whole thing. The strange thing however is that she's featured a lot more than John, (almost every five minutes) and was made out to be a more important figure than what was said in the Scriptures when compared to The Baptist.
The 'antagonist,' Pilate, (Greg Hicks) is done well enough. He's a harsh Roman emperor, and the film displays that perfectly. The story does a nice job displaying how big the Romans were at the time in comparison to the citizens. What I personally like about this film more than The Passion is that since it covered the life of Christ, it managed to have key scenes the aforementioned movie couldn't include. We have the paralyzed man from the roof, the woman who was about to be stoned before Jesus said, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her," the resurrection of Lazarus, and when he knocked over the tables in the Temple. The latter scene I felt was very well done. It could have gone the other way and make Jesus look like a berserk man, but the film nailed it perfectly. (The tax collector scene was also very good.)

The thing, however, about the movie is that it assumes the viewer knows everything about the Scriptures it's based on. So key scenes such as Judas hanging himself are rushed because it assumes the viewer knows this ahead of time. Also, some of the lines are very robotic and could have been handled better. The biggest culprit is perhaps the scene where Peter denied Jesus three times. We know it's going to happen, but the problem is that it feels and looks scripted, as if he's reading an off-screen paper with the lines. Mary surprisingly doesn't play a huge factor here. But, her actress does a nice enough job displaying the emotion of a mother losing her son.

It's hard not to compare the final act to The Passion. Let's get one thing out of the way: yes, the Passion's portrayal of it was definitely more powerful and emotion inducing. But, that's not to say the Death wasn't handled that great here. It does the job very well, with great emotion portrayed by Diogo. It's a nice reminder that while He was God, He still had the flesh of a man, and thus felt pain. The entire Cross scene was well done. I also like how well the film does explaining the reason why Jesus was crucified. (Aside from the Spiritual reason.) Here we have this Man forgiving people's sins and claiming to be the Son of God, a clear blasphemy to some of the Jews at the time. The story does a great job explaining this, even more than The Passion. The soundtrack is pretty much what you'd expect. It goes nicely with each scene, and has good choir for the emotionally powerful ones.

Overall, SON OF GOD is a pretty great watch. Yes, it does take some liberties, and changes a few things, but in the end, it's hard to complain since what we get is a great telling of the life of Jesus. It could have used more scenes detailing certain things, and the fact that the Three Temptations wasn't included was immensely disappointing. But, despite any lingering complaints, the film succeeds in what it wanted to do. It might be a long time before we see Jesus on the big screen again, so the film is special in that regard too. We're all going to have our personal faults with it for taking some liberties, but by the end when He's on the Cross you'll forget about everything. SON OF GOD is definitely worth a watch, for anyone.

I am coming soon.



  1. I'm definitely glad that it seems to be a faithful adaption of the Bible and it's good that we finally get a really good theater release for a Christian film. As you noted, it's definitely been a while and we need to have more of them. Hopefully Noah can keep us going on a solid note.

    I saw the first two episodes of the miniseries, but then I stopped. It was following along with the events of the Bible accurately, but it was also incredibly violent. I mean Incredibly violent! Easily TV-MA stuff in my opinion, but officially it was only TV-14.... The film seems to mostly be on the New Testament so I can see why it's a lot better.

    To be honest, the Old Testament is still hard to fully comprehend. I've recently decided to read the Bible all the way through after getting a new Bible in the David Jeremiah concert event. I am currently in Leviticus and it can be a little tough to see all of those animals being sacrificed. I don't know why God created those laws, but I know that he had his reasons. It's just one of those things that I won't be able to fully comprehend until I go to Heaven, but that's why faith is important. God is perfect and his decrees are faultless as well. I fully believe that so I won't let things that I do not understand stop me from believing. That being said, you can see why it was tough for me to watch the miniseries.

    As for Son of God, I'm sure that the toughest scene for me would be the crucifixion. I'm actually glad that it's not as violent as Passion of The Christ. As long as the message is presented clearly, then the film did a good job. I realize that they can't completely tone it down because then it undermines Jesus' sacrifice. Understanding the pain and suffering that he went through is crucial to grasping what a tremendous sacrifice it was. Again, it's easier to read than to watch.

    I'm glad that this film is getting such great support currently and I hope that it does really well and also converts some of the people that go to see it in the cinema. If it does well enough, I'm sure that they will produce another film like this one and that could be the start of something great.

    Great review Destroyer!

    1. I too Reager have been reading the Bible from square one. The Old Testament is definitely full of confusing stuff! The mini-series I'm definitely intrigued by. If it ever hits Netflix or Hulu I'll give it a watch. A lot of these stories really should be adapted for the big screen. I'm not sure how faithful Noah will be, but I hope we'll see some more adaptions in the future.