God’s Not Dead 2 (2016)

If you read my previous review on God’s Not Dead, you can see how frustrated I was with how poorly received that film was with critics. The same could be said about this particular film. Part 2 has even less stellar numbers, clocking in at 8% approval and 65% audience score on RottenTomatoes and a 4.4/10 on IMDb.

Those numbers are unfortunate because this film is a compelling courtroom drama. I understand as a kid growing up in the United States, there is the whole “separation of church and state,” which means it’s taboo to mention God in school. Well, that didn’t stop Melissa Joan Hart’s character, Grace, from talking to one of her students about God. Unfortunately, the discussion led to a lawsuit from the parents and her removal from her teaching position.

People can say this case is pretty crazy and should never go to trial. Others would say this was an issue worth fighting for. I can see the concerns from both sides since some people don’t want to hear about God because he never existed. Believers just want the opportunity to be themselves and have their own thoughts. This story was never about spreading a message or forcing an agenda on someone. It was a pure heart to heart conversation about how some people deal with life’s stresses.

I knew Jesse Metcalf from a handful of roles before I watched him struggle as a lawyer in this one. He’s arguing a case that never deserved to be in court, but that’s where it is, and that’s where he finds himself. I thought he gave an excellent performance, and his “attack” on Grace was so unexpected and surprising. It all served a purpose in the end, thankfully, because it was one of those moments that made you hold your breath. I couldn’t believe what was going on, but when it was over, there was a method to the madness.

Like I mentioned earlier, this film was all about the courtroom drama. You could feel the tension as the defence hammered away at the facts, and you felt compassion for Grace as things never seem to go her way.

I am disappointed that the franchise went into the tank after this one. I really enjoyed the first entries and would totally watch them again. Sometimes you can’t judge a book by its cover, because you got to give something a chance. 8/10


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