Friday, February 28, 2014

The (Not So) Greatest Story Ever Told


A “Son of God” for the Faithful

By Skip Sheffield

The Bible and specifically the New Testament story of the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ have been perennial subjects of plays, books, music and movies.
The first movie on the life of Jesus Christ was the Cecil B. DeMille epic “King of Kings” in 1927.
The latest re-telling of “The greatest story ever told” is “Son of God,” distributed by 20th Century Fox.
“Son of God” is a pared down, less than two-hour version of the 10-hour History Channel mini-series “The Bible.” Directed and co-written by Christopher Spencer, “The Bible” proved the History Channel’s most successful series ever.
The cast is largely unknown by American audiences. It is lead by Portuguese actor-model Diogo Morgado. Like all of the more than a dozen cinematic Jesuses, Morgado is a really handsome man. However, Morgado the actor is no match for some previous film Jesuses, including Jim Caviezel in Mel Gibson’s controversial “The Passion of the Christ” and charismatic Ted Neeley in the rock musical “Jesus Christ Superstar” in 1973.
“Son of God” is considered by some an antidote to the perceived anti-Semitic “Passion of the Christ,” released ten years ago. “Son of God” even has an endorsement by Anti-Defamation League leader Abraham Foxman.
The bad news is that “Son of God” does not live up to the passion of its story. The acting is amateurish; the CG special effects obvious and the biblical Jerusalem sets fake-looking. I am well versed enough in The Bible that I knew what dialogue was coming next, starting with the opening excerpt from the Book of Genesis “In the beginning was The Word and The Word became flesh.”
“Son of God” is being marketing to church-going faithful, which makes a lot of sense. There’s a lot of money in them there mega-churches. I just wonder what the Jesus who overturned the tables of the money-changers in the temple would think?

No comments:

Post a Comment