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IT'S JESUS! AND NO ROCK CREATURES!
on 24 April 2014
The film starts with some narration by John, whose gospel introduces the concept of the "logos" or "The Word" and equates this Greek theological idea to Jesus . It places Jesus with God the father from the beginning of time.
It jumps to a quick Matthew version of his birth and then to collecting apostles, making his first miracle being a human fish finder. Yes the Lord God creator and all being of time, space and dimension must stick his face into the water to locate fish. Nothing campy about that.
The movie introduces historical background, but does so briefly. The famous Sermon on the Mount, what I consider to be the inspirational center piece of Christianity is not used, save for The Lord's Prayer. Even "Life of Brian" did that aspect better...blessed are the cheese makers.
The film nicely modernizes the King James version, even with the actors having varying accents. The film attempts to follow the story through the Gospel of John, which may be why they cut the sermon on the mount, but then they added aspects that were not in John, but Matthew.
The production makes Jesus look like a cult leader with a rock star following. The last hour which concentrates on the Passion of Christ, I couldn't help but compare it mentally to the far superior Mel Gibson production. Indeed, in many ways this film isn't any better than many low budget church productions.
I also flashed back to "Jesus Christ Superstar" a few times and found myself singing lines, missing the whole swimming pool scene. I liked the idea of opening with John. If they had made this film based strictly on the gospel of John, they could of had a first. The story assumes we know the characters and never builds or develops them. The plot has wholes in it, like what was Pontius Pilate supposed to do with his wife's dream she considered a warning? Say, "Okay Jesus off you go then." Wouldn't that screw up everyone's salvation?
On the plus side Jesus Christ handled hecklers better than Chris Christie, but then, who doesn't? The film takes some dramatic liberties utilizes long "William Shatner like" pauses before Jesus says a line we know is coming. The scene of Judas "returning" the 30 pieces of silver, was nothing like what I imagined, my bad I guess.
I really loved the first 30-45 minutes of the film. But the second half felt like they changed Jesus and not for the better.
3 1/2 stars