It’s a big month in faith-based film, as March sees the release of Young Messiah and Miracles From Heaven, not to mention the ABC David and Goliath show (Of Kings and Prophets). Not to be outdone, Pure Flix, which is releasing God’s Not Dead 2 April 1st, released a new trailer for that film this week. The courtroom drama stars Melissa Joan Hart as a teacher who is “forced before a judge for honestly answering a student’s question about Jesus,” according to the official synopsis. That’s right, it’s some kind of reverse monkey trial where Christians have to prove the possibility of God before a skeptical ACLU(-type organization) led by an evil guy played by Ray Wise.
It also stars Pat Boone, Ernie Hudson, Jesse Metcalfe, Robin Givens, and the late former Senator Fred Thompson. I can’t believe this is opening on April Fool’s Day. You’ll think you’re being fooled when you hear dialogue like:
“We’re going to prove once and for all… that God is dead.” -the evil guy
“I am not going to be afraid… to say the name Jesus.” -Melissa Joan Hart
“They want to make an example out of you.”
“The message of the gospel has us standing in the way of a lot of things powerful people want. We’re at war!”
“Mr. Kane will suggest that faith isn’t on trial here, but that’s exactly what’s on trial.”
“The four gospels contain the actual word of Jesus.” -expert science witness
“If we’re going to insist that a Christian’s right to believe is subordinate to all other rights, then it’s not a right! Somebody! Is always! Going to be offended!”
Recently, I saw one of the kinder, gentler, takes on the modern “faith-based” film, Risen, which has thus far grossed $24 million (on a $20 million budget) despite being one of the least divisive of these movies in recent memory. Of course, God’s Not Dead practically invented the persecuted-by-fire-breathing-atheists genre, grossing $62.6 million on a $2 million budget back in 2014, which is why we have a sequel where characters declare “We’re at war!” right in the trailer. But the best part is definitely when it ends with concert footage of a band singing the title of the song.
The only way this could be better is if Marine Todd caught some ISIS guys doing gay stuff and scrawled a Leviticus quote on a rocket before blowing them up.