Son of God (PG13)
138 minutes / In theatres now / 2.5/5
Just as Mel Gibson's The Passion Of The Christ (2004) gave away Gibson's intent in the title (that Jesus of Nazareth suffered a great deal before his death), this work also does exactly what it says on the tin, as if there were any doubt among believers as to Jesus' divinity.
Most of the scenes in this Good Friday-timed release depict him as fully realised in and fully embracing his godly nature (in contrast to the human-versus-divine struggle shown in Martin Scorsese's The Last Temptation Of Christ, 1988).
This is very much a safe, mainstream epic of praise, designed from the outset to be as inoffensive as possible. Much time is spent on Jesus' miracle-making and, in the latter half, the crucifixion. Produced by Mark Burnett and Roma Downey (who plays Jesus' mother Mary), it is a re-edit of the hugely successful 10-hour miniseries The Bible, aired last year on the History channel in the United States.
This work shows Jesus (Portuguese model-actor Diogo Morgado) moving through the land wowing the populace. For the sake of television-quality visual effects, it largely ignores the part that is genuinely interesting about the character - the subversive power of his ideas.
This article was published on April 16 in The Straits Times.
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