Son of God : Movie Review

Last year, the History Channel aired a mini-series called "The Bible", executive produced by husband and wife Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (who also played Mary, Jesus' mother). The mini-series was nominated for 2 Primetime Emmys and received high audience ratings. "Son of God" is the Jesus section of that mini-series, brought to large screens in the hopes of finding an even wider audience. There has been very little traditional advertising for the film. Burnett and Downey have chosen instead to reach out to church groups for screenings, relying on a grass-roots awareness campaign to get the word out. There has also been a concerted effort to reach out to Jewish groups, in the hopes of avoiding the charges of anti-Semitism Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" faced. The Jews in power still don't come off great in "Son of God". They seem petty, fearful and small-minded. "Son of God" is explicitly for Christian audiences (I saw it with a church group, who applauded mightily as the credits started to roll), opening with a dreamy voiceover from the Apostle John telling us how God has always been there, as we see images of fighting dinosaurs, Noah's Ark crashing through the waves, and a "Blue Lagoon"-style glimpse of Adam and Eve in the Garden. It's heavy-handed and melodramatic, openly sentimental, and extremely earnest. "Son of God"'s earnest-ness is not necessarily a strike against it; it was made by earnest people who want to spread the word. But it's a tough draught to swallow if you're not in the mood for a sermon.

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Author : Sheila O'Malley