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God's Not Dead 2


Stars: Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe, David A.R. White, Ernie Hudson, Hayley Orrantia, Robin Givens, Fred Dalton Thompson, Marie Canals-Barrera, Sadie Robertson, Pat Boone, Ray Wise

Director: Harold Kronk

It would appear that God’s Not Dead was released in Britain in April 2014.

After sitting through this saccharine sequel (I can only assume the original must have made money – either that or maybe its producers possess limitless bank accounts) I am deeply grateful at having missed the first film.

Would that I had been so fortunate second time around.

The central storyline (courtesy of screenwriters Chuck Konzelman and Cary Solomon) finds Little Rock, Arizona, high school history teacher Melissa Joan Hart in deep trouble after she violates the need for “separation of church and state” in her class by bringing Christ into a discussion involving Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King.

School district officials insist she apologise. She refuses and, with union-appointed lawyer Jesse Metcalfe to defend her, she goes on trial with her job and her beliefs under no-holds-barred attack by anti-Christian civil rights lawyer Ray Wise, determined to bring her – and her faith – down…

The central courtroom drama is overlong, utterly predictable and lacks the genre impact of even the most mediocre made-for-television movie.

At least on television, you have the option to change channels.

Here, no such luck as director Harold Kronk serves up his soggy, sugar-saturated celluloid sermon that, if it were an inflight movie, might well cause many passengers to leave the aircraft in midflight.

Wise’s overdone one-dimensional performance would win him all the Razzies available, Hart and Metcalfe keep commendable straight faces and, as an unexpected treat, 1950s pop star Pat Boone as Hart’s grandfather gets to sing again.

You have been warned!

I am no stranger to this kind of no-holds-barred proselytizing filmmaking. For far too many Sunday evenings at boarding school in Kenya we were treated to religious movies of this barefaced preaching genre.

But I found it more than just a tad weird being transported way back in time to a couple of hours of what I had assumed was long-dead Sundays-only-for-captive-boarding-school-students cinema.

Alan Frank

USA 2014. UK Distributor: Kaleidoscope Entertainment. Colour.
120 minutes. Widescreen. UK certificate: PG.

Guidance ratings (out of 3): Sex/nudity 0, Violence/Horror 0, Drugs 0, Swearing 0.

Review date: 02 May 2016