Dr. Wilfred Graves Jr. Comments on Recent Son of God Movie
I watched Son of God on opening weekend and would like to share a few thoughts about my experience as the movie approaches its second weekend. My general impression of Son of God is overwhelmingly positive. I enjoyed watching the movie for the most part and would give it a solid B+ rating. There is a sincerity about the film that comes through quite clearly and I applaud reality TV producer Mark Burnett and his wife, actress Roma Downey, for bringing the Savior’s story to the big screen for the first time in over a decade.
Son of God is not as graphic as The Passion of the Christ and covers a broader excerpt of Jesus’ life and ministry. It is also unlikely that this film will spark any controversy as did The Passion. Son of God does a good job of presenting the political motivations for the Crucifixion; however, I think that those unfamiliar with the Gospels may have a difficult time figuring out why Jesus had to die from a larger theological perspective (i.e., he died for our sins). It will be left up to believers to fill in the details for the uninitiated. Churches may find it helpful to sponsor discussion groups or Bible studies surrounding the film.
As with any dramatic retelling of the Bible, some things are definitely left out of this movie. One notable omission is Jesus’ temptation in the wilderness. Son of God is a lot like the miniseries that aired on the History Channel about a year ago, and really, it is just a reedited version of the latter half of it. To me the miniseries felt like a highlight reel more than a complete story. This is sort of the feeling that I get from Son of God as well. Of course, every detail from the Gospel accounts cannot be fit into 138 minutes.
There aren’t any surprises with this movie. Son of God follows the Biblical accounts pretty faithfully. I liked the inclusion of Hebrew prayers and other realistic details in the film, but was sometimes distracted by the British accents. I will note that the Jesus of Son of God looks more like a model than a carpenter. As I watched the movie, I kept wondering how such a good looking “movie” Jesus would have handled the torture and degradation of Calvary. Yet, the toned down violence of this film compared to that of The Passion of the Christ makes this current project more family friendly by far. If you have not yet seen Son of God, I do believe that you will enjoy it. I would love to hear your take on the film.