Movie Review – The Case for Christ
Pure Flix is the company that produces films intended to promote Christianity and basically reinforce audiences of the glory of the religion or attempt to proselytize. This latest, Pure Flix film is an adaptation of Lee Strobel’s book of the same name in which he interviews evangelical scholars about the historical reliability of the New Testament. This movie basically recreates those interviews and has what’s already a biased debate about the veracity of the Bible. The basic conclusion is that a lot of people said that the resurrection of Jesus was true, so therefore how could all of them be wrong? It’s essentially an argument for folie à deux. The problem and myopia come in the ignorance of the Old Testament. The Book of Genesis is the first book and Strobel doesn’t at any point ask anyone to prove the validity of that, which is where one would logically start.
Mike Vogel (Under the Dome and Bates Motel) stars as Lee Strobel, an award-winning investigative journalist who is a proclaimed atheist in 1980 when this movie takes place. Lee becomes a Christian as a result of interviewing these evangelicals, but the real thrust of this movie is his relationship with his wife who converts to Christianity before he does and he can’t accept it.
Erika Christensen (Parenthood and Swimfan) co-stars as Leslie Strobel, Lee’s wife and mother to their two children. She’s in fact pregnant with their second child at the start of this film. A near death experience compels her to go to church where she becomes a believer. Her conversion is chalked up to a feeling and not any true examination, which is problematic but can’t be disputed nor reconciled.
The message of this film, directed by Jon Gunn (My Date With Drew and Like Dandelion Dust) and written by Brian Bird, is that two people with different beliefs can’t be happy together. They must have the same beliefs in order to make a marriage or a loving relationship work, which is false and unneeded drama here.
This movie is based on real-life events, but this movie ends up doing what most, if not all Pure Flix films do. It portrays a non-believer, an atheist as it were, as intolerant of people of faith, particularly his own wife. His stubbornness and even anger result in jerkish behavior that is tantamount to ridiculous. He stops being a jerk once he becomes a believer, which suggests conversion is the only way for coexistence because atheism is wrong. But plenty of people of interfaith, including atheists and Christians, have committed and loving relationships without conversion.
Rated PG for talk of crucifixion and smoking.
Running Time: 1 hr. and 52 mins.
Available on DVD / VOD.