God’s Not Dead 2

Review by Henry Heffer @henryheffer

Directed by

Harold Crunk

Starring

Jesse Metcalfe Melissa Joan Hart Ray Wise

Anticipation.

If the first film is anything to go by...

Enjoyment.

Incoherent and sad. But it does recognise what it is, who it is for and certainly doesn’t skimp on production values.

In Retrospect.

Do they show good movies in hell?

Melissa Joan Hart and Jesse Metcalfe fly the flag for the Big Guy in this baffling piece of Christian pamphleteering.

Director Harold Cronk’s soon-to-be franchise tries to pretend it exists for a religious subset who are questioning their faith. In actuality it is for the those who need the social and political advantages of their faith confirmed to them. It is a shame that the Melissa Joan Hart of 20 years ago is not around to explain it all in a manner that we can relate to, because she – along with the entire cast – seems confused as to how she arrived at this point in her career.

Dialogue is liberally strewn with patronisingly blunt life-lessons: “When you’re going through something really hard, the teacher is always quiet during the test.” These are dished out as answers to the mysteries of earthly existence, and thus the film’s over-arching thesis is hammered home at every opportunity. Melissa Joan Hart is right, so God is real. Case closed.

For those brave souls who weren’t converted by the first film, or maybe were baffled by its head-on approach, most of the original cast are back to add droplets of morality to a sea of half-baked rhetoric. This time around they are employed to guide high school teacher, Grace (Hart), as she fights for the right to mention Jesus in a history class. Her cause is picked up by the lowly, but spirited union lawyer, Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe), a man whose chin-stubble is as delicate as his manner.

He talks in garbled legalese, coming across as a zombie acolyte who gobbles up any sense of cold, hard reality. The film is essentially a courtroom drama, one that seems to last for the eternity God has promised all those participating. This is a problem. The real wait is for an illusory star witness to turn up and prove the revolting naysayers wrong.

Hart does her best to seem oppressed. She even suggested while on the film’s promotional tour that she herself has been persecuted for her religious beliefs. Infidels may scoff, but what if the film’s financiers have been handed enough money from the collection plate to address every one of Richard Dawkins’ tweets with its own two-hour feature? Cronk has already declared that God is not dead – twice. We know where he stands. We don’t need to hear it again. But we probably will.

Published 26 Apr 2016

Tags: Clarissa Explains It All Jesse Metcalfe Melissa Joan Hart

Anticipation.

If the first film is anything to go by...

Enjoyment.

Incoherent and sad. But it does recognise what it is, who it is for and certainly doesn’t skimp on production values.

In Retrospect.

Do they show good movies in hell?

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