Saturday, April 23, 2016

"God's Not Dead 2" Review

In 2014, a film was released that questioned the ethics of the college education system. God's Not Dead was a huge hit in the box office grossing almost 61 million dollars. The story of a college boy whose faith in God is persecuted and challenged by his professor seemed to really strike home with many people. When hearing about a sequel to one of my favorite Faith-Based films, I couldn't help but wonder how they were going to "up the ante". Did God's Not Dead 2 extend on it's predecessor? Or should it have itself been taken to court?

The story follows a high school teacher named Grace Wesley played by Melissa Joan Hart (whom you may know from TV shows she played in as a kid such as Clarissa Explains it All and Sabrina the Teenaged Witch). One day, when a young high school student named Brooke asks her a question in her history class about Jesus, Grace answers it using the Bible. As you can imagine, a student tells someone and Ms. Grace gets into a lot of trouble with the school board. She is taken to court along with her newbie lawyer Tom, and has to somehow prove she is not guilty before her entire life is taken away from her.

Along with that story line, we also have some reoccurring characters from God's Not Dead. Pastor Dave is back, and this time he is serving jury duty on Grace's case, Amy is back dealing with her faith, Martin is back searching for answers about God, and, of course, the Newsboys are back doing their own thing.

I have to say, this was much more of a "technically" good movie. Some of the faults of the first one was fix here, like too many plot lines and some small nip picks such as pacing and unneeded/annoying characters. (I was happy to see no annoying girlfriends accompanying this feature) Overall the story, for me, was much more powerful. Grace's entire livelihood hangs in the balance in whether the jury names her guilty or not. This creates incredible tension throughout the film. I also like how they had the stories come together partially at the end but still have their separate plot lines. One of the only things that bugged me about this one is that Amy's story was quite underdeveloped. They just didn't write much for her to do, and it seems just like an excuse to get the Newsboys in there someway. Other than that, this movie was great. And for me, it indeed exceeds it's predecessor.

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