Diego Morgado stars as Jesus in the release of Son of God.

Diego Morgado stars as Jesus in the release of Son of God.

Reel Reviews: It’s a story already told

Son of God is a great story but it's one that's been told too many times on screen

  • Mar. 9, 2014 12:00 p.m.

In ancient Judea, a young man named Jesus of Nazareth developed a following that garnered the attention of both priests and politicians. Priests claim Jesus to be a blasphemer, politicians claim he is a traitor. Despite being able to work miracles, Jesus does not prove he is the Son of God to his persecutors, believing his coming crucifixion is the will of God and the purpose of his being.

We say, “There’s nothing new here.”

TAYLOR: It’s our job to go to movies, then discuss what we did or didn’t like about them and why. So while the story of Jesus is interesting, moving and worthy of telling just for the mere entertainment of it, it’s not a story we don’t already know. Sometimes a movie is made of a story everyone already knows, but there are things that make the film relevant or important in its time and place. So audiences go to 300 to see the Spartans lose to the Persians, because it’s action-packed and is filmed artistically. Or they go to Titanic because it’s been fictionalized a bit to create a moving love story that takes place within the boundaries of a historical event.

HOWE: I found it to be just a check list of sayings: “Live by the sword, die by the sword” or “He who casts the first stone,” etc. It felt more like a Sunday school teaching rather than a movie, or one huge commercial to try and gather more followers for the Christian faith. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not knocking religion, because it has its place in history, it’s just that Son of God as a movie doesn’t come close to Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ.

TAYLOR: I never saw The Passion, but even so, Son of God simply goes through the motions, ticking off all the boxes of the Jesus tale. There are no surprises, it is not a particularly artful rendering, the locations are impressive enough but the photography is not. Costumes and setting were acceptable but I’m most unimpressed with the casting of the film, because although Jesus (Diego Morgado) looks like the quintessential, impossible depiction of who we’ve come to relate to, (albeit with hazel eyes,) he and his devotees are a hodge podge of races and accents. I think this was intentionally done to, as you point out, make the story more accessible.

Nothing wrong with that, I suppose, unless that was your sole purpose in making the film. If you have no idea about the story of Jesus, Son of God provides a disjointed series of vignettes about the life of a man with magical powers who is persecuted and murdered for suggesting we love each other and live in peace. I think this film preaches to the choir and because of that, needn’t exist.

HOWE: Amen.

— Howe gives Son of God 2 retellings of the story out of 5.

— Taylor gives it 2 Flavian Conspiracies out of 5.

The film is currently showing at the Galaxy Cinemas in Vernon.