Movie: God’s Not Dead 2
Reel Rating: 3 out of 5 Reels
MPAA Rating: PG for some thematic elements
Released in Theaters: April 1, 2016
Best for Ages: 10+
Genre: Drama, Faith-Based
Runtime: 124 minutes
Directed by: Harold Cronk
Studio: Pure Flix
Cast: Melissa Joan Hart, Jesse Metcalfe, Ray Wise
MOVIE SYNOPSIS: Melissa Joan Hart stars in this faith-based drama about a high school teacher who’s taken to court for supposedly evangelizing in class.
God’s Not Dead 2 – Movie Review
This follow-up to 2014’s “God’s Not Dead” is a faith-based movie about a high school teacher who’s hauled into court for supposedly evangelizing in class. There have been a lot of faith-based movies in theaters lately, some good and some not so good. This one falls somewhere in the middle.
The movie features a strong female character who stays true to her beliefs despite the fact that she could lose her job. But it gets a little preachy at times, which might turn off those who aren’t religion-oriented.
The story begins with teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Joan Hart) teaching a high school history lesson on the civil rights movement. When a student asks about the parallels between Martin Luther King Jr. and Jesus Christ, Grace gives a thoughtful answer. But she soon finds herself on the hot seat when the school board claims she’s bringing religion into the classroom.
Soon Grace ends up in court to defend her actions. Brainstorming with her lawyer, Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe), the two decide to argue in court that Jesus was a historical figure, which makes him fair game in the classroom.
The actors deliver believable performances in this drama. I especially love Metcalfe’s performance, as his character is a non-believer who throws himself into defending Grace to the best of his ability. The movie also features a strong supporting cast, including Ernie Hudson, Robin Givens, Pat Boone, Sadie Robertson, David A.R. White and Ray Wise, whose villainous character resembles what I think the devil would look like in human form!
You can tell that the cast and crew threw themselves into this movie with heartfelt faith and dedication. Still, the storyline is formulaic – you can practically see the plot points coming a mile away – and the script is cliche and a bit wooden.
Could there be a “God’s Not Dead 3” in the works? I’m not sure, but stay through the end credits for a bonus scene. (Yes, I was the only person to stay that long! It’s not exactly a Marvel movie, so I’m sure no one was expecting it.)
PARENT OVERVIEW: “God’s Not Dead 2” is fairly mild when it comes to iffy content. The court scenes get a bit heated at times, and there are angry protesters on the street. But there’s no swearing, nudity, drinking, smoking or violence. While it’s ok for kids aged 10 and older, the movie’s storyline might be too mature for younger kids to grasp. Older kids and teens may admire Grace’s resolve to stay true to her beliefs.
PARENT DETAILS (May Contain Spoilers):
Violence/Gore: A few heated arguments and angry protesters on the street.
Sex/Nudity: None, although a few times, the main character mentions her lack of a love life.
JANE’S REEL RATING SYSTEM:
One Reel – Even the Force can’t save it.
Two Reels – Coulda been a contender
Three Reels – Something to talk about.
Four Reels – You want the truth? Great flick!
Five Reels – Wow! The stuff dreams are made of.
Images in this review used courtesy of the studio and distributor.