It is by far the greatest story ever told.
And although it has been over ten years since the life of Jesus the Christ has been shown on the big screen, SON OF GOD has lots of relevance. Full of political intrigue, life changing inspiration, and the marvelous account of his death and resurrection; Easter comes a little early for Christians and movie goers alike.
The film covers many of the accounts of Jesus’ (Diogo Morgado) life as he calls his disciples, deals with the Pharisees, and is arrested and later crucified (if this is a spoiler alert I apologize, I figured most have read the book). At times it flashes back to his childhood and earlier events just long enough to tie things together. Otherwise we watch him from the beginning of his ministry through the ascension.
Son of God is created and produced by Roma Downey (who also stars as Mary the mother of Jesus) and Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor, Shark Tank). They both have an amazing passion not only for the story but for Jesus. Last year they created a TV series on the Bible and that prompted them to take that footage and shoot additional scenes to create a full length film. They go to great lengths to capture not only the turbulence of the day but the ministry and compassion of the Christ. These two intertwine in a film that is not just another sermon but a political thriller of sorts.
Those who are familiar with the story will love the chance to see this on the big screen. Even if you have walked with God all of your life you will be moved and humbled at the reminder of the sacrifice. Often films like this have an agenda and even though Roma and Mark have specific goals, never while watching do you feel manipulated or preached to.
The cast is solid. Morgado does capture the softness and gentleness of Jesus while still conveying a drive and passion. The disciples are each represented in strong characters that easily resemble what you would imagine them to be. Judas is another main element in the story of Christ and he is portrayed nicely by Joe Wredden. His interaction with Caiaphas (Adrian Schiller) is also an interesting plot line.
Son of God is rated PG-13 for intense and bloody depiction of the crucifixion, and for some sequences of violence. Unlike the R rated Passion of the Christ, this one manages to portray the cruel punishment without going so far that you alienate younger audiences. They will still know that Christ was brutalized but the visuals are much more subtle. Other than a few other violent moments this is certainly one that you can and should watch as a family. Granted it does feel like a TV movie yet has imagery and special effects that save it in the long run. I give it 3.5 out of 5 empty tombs. Any less and I might wake up to a plague of locusts.
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