Welcome back to Movie Review Monday! This week we’re going back to actual movie reviews and featuring “Son of God”. I’ll break the film down into several areas to give you a general idea of the quality of each, then make a final judgement at the end. Enjoy.
It’s the greatest story ever told. What more can I say?
This category is often limited to camera angles and shots, however, it needs to encompass CG elements as well. I understand that the movie was part of a television series about the Bible, as such the quality of filmmaking is above par. The budget wasn’t very high, but despite some bad CGI or perhaps just very cheap set pieces, the detail to the buildings and other sets according to the period were well done. I enjoyed the landscapes and the costume element, everything made it feel real. Props to the film crew that put together the visual grace of the movie.
As badly as I would want to rip into this area and say that no one can portray Jesus well and that they messed up the Bible, I really can’t as far as acting is concerned. I actually don’t have much else to say here except that there is nothing in the acting area that I thought lacking. The accents, the appearances, everything hit its mark.
Okay, well there were enough scripturally flawed elements in this film to drown a Pharisee. I could spend hours on these mess-ups, if that’s what they were; however, I’ll simply hit the highlights.
Introducing: Everything That Was Wrong With “Son of God”!
In the film, Jesus repeatedly calls Simon simply Peter, especially when they first meet. Simon bar Jonah was not called Peter until after he followed Christ. (Not a big deal really… Except he wouldn’t have responded to or acknowledged anyone who called him that, which might be a little bit of a problem.)
Peter wasn’t the only one fishing when the miracle of the fish happened. The film seemed to portray him as a Lone Ranger of fishermen.
There was not a woman among the disciples and in the story of the five thousand, the people followed Jesus he didn’t arrive and find them waiting. (Okay, really? Why? Just, why? The 12th disciple was apparently Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus… Odd. That means they had to intentionally and discretely get rid of one of the 12 disciples actually named in the Bible. Which one?)
Evidently Jesus got worried when the crowd wanted to make Him king. (He wasn’t scared off at the notion of being king. He knew exactly who He was from the first day. Jesus wasn’t thinking “oh no, they want to make me king. This was totally unexpected; what do I do now?”)
Either they were trying to portray that Mary and Martha didn’t love their brother, or simply didn’t know about the burial rituals that Jews would wrap dead bodies in shrouds and ointments. This is seem again with the burial of Jesus and is historically incorrect.
Jesus entered the tomb in the movie. (This was a low and intentional blow. Jesus simply called to Lazarus in the real story: the true story.)
The movie seemed to link Jesus’ miracles to His actions; but He is the Word, not the action. This film undermines the power of Christ by limiting Him to actions.
Jesus and company were accosted at Bethany and revived Lazarus after that, not in Nazareth. The entire film shows an appalling lack of research or simply a disregard of it to tell what they felt was a better story. Their fault is in the fact that there has never been a better story. 20th Century set themselves on a path to failure as they attempted to achieve the impossible.
I still can’t get past the fact that they made Mary the sister of Martha one of the 12 disciples of Christ. That is unbiblical and wrong on so many levels. However, it wasn’t an entirely bad movie. It had feeling, it had emotion and even a strong biblical message, but it simply wasn’t the whole story; not even in the correct order. There was so much more to Jesus than what was seen.
Regardless of its flaws and fallacies, this film has a strong message of the gospel and a witness for Christ. If the goal was to twist and mar scripture, the movie succeeded, but by no means could I discount the positive message for Christ in the film. I love how it opened and closed on John. The opening was with words of scripture and God’s word will not return unto Him void. So, I give this film a solid 7. You cannot tell a better story, but they did not tell it entirely truthfully. It was still a good film and I believe God can use it.
As always, thanks for reading.
–the anonymous novelist