‘God’s Not Dead 2,’ A sequel for the books

Christians are slowly becoming a minority in the world, and the debate over “separation of church and state” has gained momentum in recent years. The God’s Not Dead movies, produced by Pure Flix Productions, are based on real court cases that deal with this issue.
The first God’s Not Dead film follows Josh Wheaton (Shane Harper) as he debates his college philosophy professor (Kevin Sorbo) after refusing to sign a piece of paper with the words, “God is dead.” Harper’s evidence wins his class over, and the movie ends with Sorbo reconciling with God before tragically passing away, while the rest of the city is enjoying a Newsboys concert.
In God’s Not Dead 2, we are taken back to high school. Devout Christian and AP History teacher Grace Wesley (Melissa Hart) must face the repercussions of answering a student’s (Haley Orrantia) question in class relating the teachings of Jesus to the teachings of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mahatma Gandhi. Throughout the film, you’ll root for Hart as everything around her crumbles. Her fellow co-workers, as well as the media, turn against her, while she faces the possibility of losing her teaching certification.
Things do not look good for Wesley as incriminating evidence builds around her.
It’s not until her handsome, non-believer lawyer, Tom Endler (Jesse Metcalfe), decides to fight the case with a new perspective, that things start looking up.
Returning from God’s Not Dead is Pastor Dave (David A.R. White), who provides comic relief in the film, while still adding to the storyline. Reporter Amy Ryan (Trisha LaFache), who is now in remission from her life-threatening cancer in the first film, struggles with finding her faith. And Martin (Paul Kwo), the Chinese foreign-exchange student who converted to Christianity at the end of GND, returns with many (147 to be exact) questions about the Bible for Pastor Dave.
Other appearances in the film include Sadie Robertson from the popular A&E TV show, Duck Dynasty, and the Christian rock group, Newsboys.
Over half of the movie takes place in a courtroom. And although this may sound a bit tedious, the filmmakers do a good job of keeping the audience interested and unsure of the final verdict, while transitioning effectively between the main storyline and the various subplots.
The filmmakers chose actors and actresses that fit the part of their respective characters perfectly. However, I felt like some of the characters could have been more dynamic such as Orrantia’s onscreen parents (Maria Canals-Barrera and Carey Scott). I also felt like there were a few stereotypes in the film that weren’t necessary, such as picking (or not picking) the jury based on what TV shows they watch (Pretty Little Liars and Duck Dynasty) or that they are former Marines.
Although this film only received 13% from Rotten Tomatoes, I would highly recommend seeing this film.
The facts brought up in the case are thought-provoking, and the storyline portrays what Christian students and professors are facing across the nation.

Author: Lauren Lum

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