Directed by: Christopher Spencer
Perhaps the most important thing that you should know about this film is that it is a spin-off of the successful History Channel mini-series, The Bible. The movie was filmed at the same time as the TV show, and in fact, is merely the extended footage of the Jesus section of that series. While we didn’t watch that show, we did suffer through this big-screen re-presentation of it, and sadly, we’re sorry we did. While it is hard to imagine saying this but this film — quitter literally — had no soul. There was no life to it at all, and it appeared that the actors merely posed and wandered aimlessly through their respective roles.
Billed an experience that was created to be shared among families and communities across the U.S. It was supposed to have brought new life to the story of Jesus, only it simply presented the (rather sparse) audience a rather two-dimensional depiction of the life of Christ. It was as if someone determined what the high points were by having heard the gospel read to them on Sundays over the course of a year, and then simply blocked out those scenes. Sure, sure there were some exotic locales, but the film itself was essentially lifeless.
However, int its favor, the film did have two high points, one is that essentially everyone in the cast (save for the actor portraying Christ Himself), had a very distinct Semitic look to him, and two, the character of Mary Magdalene was portrayed as equal to the other apostles throughout the film. Other than that, this film is a virtual complete waste of time. The climax and resolution of the story don't resonate because the previous hundred minutes of the movie haven't given us any reason to care.
Please note that we are not arguing the value of this film from a theological standpoint, but merely as a movie-lover, the film is unfortunately devoid of emotional content. So save your time, and re-watch the far superior The Passion of the Christ (2004).
Robert J. Sodaro has been reviewing films for some 30 years. During that time, his movie reviews and articles have appeared in numerous print publications, as well as on the web. Subscribe to receive regular articles and movie reviews.