Hell-o Hello! I've decided to subject myself to more bad religious movies, since my last Atheist Admin Watches was so well liked and had a billion comments. /sarcasm /hyperbole
Like I did with... that horrible abomination I intentionally forgot the name of, I'm kinda reviewing as I watch, and let me just say that the introduction is probably the worst I've ever seen for a serious movie. It's like they recorded an 80's sitcom intro of people walking and then replaced the music with some uplifting country song and made it more modern. I was seriously expecting yellow text to come up with some generic effect and this disclaimer that the movie was recorded in front of a live studio audience. That's literally how cheesy it was. I am going to try and watch as much of it as possible before writing more though.
The movie basically starts off with this muslim girl that we've not learned the name of yet getting out of her dad's car, and then taking off the hijab. She's got this face of relief like "I'm so fucking glad that thing is off." There's also the token Asian, which you can tell is meant to be the university nerd. Just by the sweater, it's pretty obvious.
But so far, as much as I've heard some bad things, it's not nearly as horrible as... that other one. At least so far.
Anyhow, moving on, our main character turns in that pre-registration sheet, and the guy notices his cross. He's like "Yeah you should probably go to a different instructor, because you're obviously Christian, and the one you've got obviously hates you and all of Christianity." Like, this is literally foreshadowing that whole "Atheists are Assholes" trope that religious movies love so much. So the main guy, whose name is Josh Wheaton, is like "Yeah, can't do that bro. It's too inconvenient."
Then the token Asian kid comes up and his receptionist apparently doesn't know that PRC stands for "People's Republic of China." Like, he looked at her like: "You're an idiot."
Then it goes to this random woman, and her car has been vandalized. I really liked the whole thing where they put the camera on her "American Humanist" bunker sticker, like that was really important to the plot or something.
So then it shows this company boss, and he talks to the woman on the phone. Apparently he's going to take her to a fancy restaurant or something, but he won't give her directions to wherever she's going. I'm assuming it's the company where he's at, but it kinda puts off the whole "Asshole Boyfriend" vibe. 5 bucks says the guy is an atheist according this movie.
Anyhow, she finally says where she's going, and it's to interview the guy from Duck Dynasty. As if we hadn't seen enough of those fake backwood rednecks.
So then it goes to this grandmother who... apparently cannot remember that she had chicken yesterday. It's kind of a foreshadowing thing that she's dying, I guess, but we'll probably find that out later. But at this point I'm kind of wondering... Where the hell is the plot? Like, so far it's been random ass people and scenes, which as far as we know may or may not have any importance to the movie at all period.
grandmother mother forgets her daughter's name, or rather her very existence. At this point it's less foreshadowing and more shoving into your face "Yeah, she's gonna die."
Can I also just say: I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS. WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON?
Now it starts into that philosophy class. Kevin Sorbo comes in like "I'm Kevin Sorbo, bitches." So far though, it's been an ironic subversion of that Atheists are Assholes thing. I mean, first off he chases out the people who don't need to be there, because yeah, if you're in college, you're expected to produce college level work. Then he lists off all of these famous atheists. The thing I don't like is that whole "Muh Atheismz" he's got going on. But, to their credit, they did try to be funny with this Token Gangster Black Kid.
Still continuing, he does manage to put up an almost correct definition of atheism. Although it doesn't mean "Without god." It actually is correctly defined as "without religion." The reason I say mostly correct is that atheists are people who do not follow religions or believe in them and therefore by extension do not believe God or gods. However, he does get the next fact wrong. Atheists don't take a strong position that there is no god; they tend to be skeptical and are considered to be agnostic. Agnosticism isn't actually a weak position as we cannot possibly know whether there is or is not a god.
Although he does get the next part right. Students should not waste time debating the existence of a sky daddy. 20 dollars that they end up doing so anyways because Josh Wheaton is like "Imma Christianz, guuuuuh."
So then it goes to an entirely new subplot between these two pastors. But that'll be gotten to later. It comes back, and Sorbo is still teaching and being honest, you know, like a professor should. Just give it time. We can always trust Designated Hero Josh to interfere and bring out the inner asshole.
But then Sorbo does another wrong thing. He wants to not have the debate... by jumping to a conclusion. But, still, Josh fucks it up. I still blame him because I know exactly what he's about to do, and it is maddening. Because EVEN AFTER Sorbo explains what's going on in that smug tone (the asshole is starting to come out), he still goes for it.
Josh then kinda does this "Take That" at atheists who debate with Christians by saying that they can't be objective. I've kinda seen this as like, when atheists actually call out religious people on things and know when they've won because aforementioned religious person isn't using reason anymore.
So Josh gets three sessions to convince the entire class that God exists. I cannot wait to see the strawmen.
Then there's lunch and Josh is telling this girl that he can't drop the class. Why? Because God wants him to debate with Sorbo. In other words "I can't let the class learn what they should actually learn about because of my beliefs!" There's a word for that. I believe it's called "proselytizing." Like I said, it's maddening. He can't take the simple way out because he has to convert Sorbo. Because he's Kevin fucking Sorbo. And the fact that I feel like the entire plot of the movie is just completely worthless. Well, the girl tells him that the whole thing is rigged to make him look like an idiot. I think it's more like "He's going to make himself look like an idiot."
Then there's the interview with that Duck Dynasty guy and this random woman that we seen earlier just immediately throws out a redneck stereotype. I was like "Wow." I have no words for the headache because of the facewalls I did. Well, this girl is apparently extremely liberal. I mean, EXTREMELY liberal. I mean, honestly, there's no point in reviewing this part, because it's fucking ridiculous what they're trying to do here. It's another Take That thing, and it's ridiculous. Though, one thing of note, Duck Dynasty Guy uses that classic "Don't like, don't watch" argument to reflect the criticism and stuff.
So we finally learn the Muslim girl's name. It's Ayisha. For some reason I kinda feel like that isn't a real arab name, but they did the thing that alot of fanfic writers do, where they make this Token character and then make up a name that sounds like it might be a name from that culture, but it's really just gibberish. To be fair, I will take the time to do a Google search and see if it is an actual name, though.
I'm going to say now that this will probably be an incredibly long review. The movie is about an hour and a half long. This is at the 22 minute mark. Yeah. If you haven't figured it out by now, there will be spoilers.
To be honest, they are being extremely slow on the plot. A lot of this just seems like filler to make it movie length, even though they really could've covered just about everything in the course of half an hour or just made a television series. At this point, it seems more like just a big jumble of sub-plots with the supposed main plot barely getting any attention.
So it goes to Josh and he goes to a church. More redundant things with one of those earlier metioned pastors, and then it cuts to Crazy Liberal Girl With Little To No Importance In The Plot. And Crazy Liberal Girl With Little To No Importance In The Plot is apparently writing some slam article about that Duck Dynasty fake redneck.
It goes back to Josh and he's like "Oh I only got three choices and all of them are turrible, gguuuuuh." When, in all honesty, the answer is pretty obvious. But, of course, Josh and Pastor guy have to do this option of "Convert the guy and convince everyone god exists." Because we can't have a religious movie where people do things that are sensible, right?
Josh reads some bible passages because he's still unsure, supposedly, but as we all can predict, those verses automatically make him decide to go for it.
Let me point out NOW that this movie is INCREDIBLY boring. NOTHING of note or importance is actually going on. And this is at the 27 minute mark.
So he asks for advice from Pastor guy, who's actually a reverend, and
Pastor Reverend guy is like "Oh, don't be clever. Just tell the truth!" In other words, don't use debate tactics or logical evidence. Use the Bible! 5 bucks says it's that.
And that Crazy Liberal Girl With Little To No Importance In The Plot actually has a name. It's Amy, and the doctor tells her she has cancer. Which to me, is very odd and sudden, because there was little to no foreshadowing of this event. It was too sudden and seemed awkward and out of place?
So Josh talks with his girlfriend again. Also, he's studying. What is he studying? A book about God!
I do give Designated Hero Josh credit though. He does act fairly genuinely loving to his girlfriend. And does what I wish my exes did: Remember that damned anniversary. And his girlfriend gets credit for having common sense.
Now we're back to the
Pastors Reverends subplot. Reverend Guy and Black Reverend Guy are apparently taking a vacation. To Disney World. I admit, I'm fucking jealous. Not once in my life have I ever gotten to go to Disney World. Anyhow, their car breaks down. Pretty much, I have a feeling this is going to be them TRYING and FAILING to get to Disney World.
Anyhow, still bored out of my mind. You people are lucky I do these things. It's four in the morning. I started at two. And yet I still haven't made it to the 40 minute mark.
So it FINALLY gets to their little debate thing. Josh's first argument: "YOU CAN'T PROVE GOD DOESN'T EXIST." And then he says we have to look at the available evidence. I could spend time pointing out the available evidence that contests the bible in multiple different ways starting from the fact that a 500 foot boat couldn't hold 6,000,000,000 animals to the fact that the "prophecies" in the bible are so vague they would be considered fulfilled back when the bible was written, but that's a story for another time and I'm not in the movie, so... yeah.
So Josh's argument so far consists of mainly apologetics. There's a lot I could go into, but again, I'm more concentrated on the quality of the movie and its arguments, not debunking them (yet). Honestly, the movie is quite horrible. Still not as bad as *shudders*... Kids Praise 5, though.
Then we go back to the Reverent guys going to Disney World. Turns out they aren't leaving yet. Well, moving on.
So, Josh continues to strawman the Big Bang theory. He then tries to debunk the "Who created God" argument. By defiling his own logic. You see, I'm going to debunk this. By his own logic, Josh's god cannot be, as he puts it, "uncreated". As he stated, in reality, something cannot come from nothing. By not having come into existence but being eternal, God technically came from nothing. This is a simple argument, namely for the sake of avoiding the infinite regression of "Who created God's God?" and so on so forth. The reason the Big Bang seems like something coming from nothing is because before said Big Bang, time and space, the boundaries of existence, did not exist. Therefore, it is technically impossible for something to have existed, as to be timeless you would be frozen, as you are unaffected by time. To be spaceless, you would be... well, not there. Because you wouldn't exist in a space. For God to be timeless and spaceless, he would have to exist outside of the universe, and therefore, outside of existence. Even so, before the Big Bang, he wouldn't have had time to create the universe nor space to create it in. Therefore, it is logical to come to the conclusion that a god did not create the universe.
Of course, Sorbo also debunks this argument with the argument used by Stephen Hawking. What I don't like, is that there's about to be a strawman atheist. Yep. He's using an appeal to authority argument, but he also basically mocks Josh for not knowing. Problem is, most atheists wouldn't do that - unless he knows something rooted in a factual basis for which to use as an alternative explanation.
Then the full blown asshole atheist thing happens and Sorbo basically threatens Josh. It's kind of annoying that they're portraying atheists as smug like this. But, I'm going to avoid ranting about the inaccuracies. Also, a brief explanation to Sorbo of Pre-Law: It is a declared major taken in University as an introduction to law, in order for the student in question to fulfill the prerequisites of Law School. But, it's just another Take That, basically to say atheists are idiots.
Josh breaks up with his girlfriend. She states that he did something stupid and selfish. GUESS WHAT, MOVIE. HE DID.
So then there's this thing with Ayisha and her brother and stuff. I'm ignoring this sub-plot. Because it's irrelevant and much more boring than the rest of the movie. I'm also choosing to ignore the Amy subplot as well. Again, it's irrelevant.
Anyhow, Josh and Token Asian Guy talk about God and why he's doing his thing. More proselytizing. Then there's more stuff with the Reverends. I have to admit that their subplot is the most interesting part of the movie. Because it's kinda funny to see their bad luck with cars and stuff. Just tryin' to get to Disney World there.
*Insert more irrelevant subplot here*
I've decided that after this point, I'm just doing the debates. I'm going to focus only on the main plot (and maybe some of the Reverend subplot, because I'm curious to see if they ever make it to Disney World.)
Anyhow, the Rev subplot, they're still having car trouble. Reverend Guy's face is hilarious.
The next debate Josh attempts to refute Hawking's argument by using the idea that it's circular reasoning - and then providing an entirely subjective example. He did get what Hawking was saying right, but I feel I've already explained this when I debunked the first argument he made - the universe did need to exist, and therefore, yes, created itself. I'm going to reference the argument. The reason that what Hawking said is true is that before time and space existed - in other words, the big bang - there was nothing. For something to exist, time and space had to exist so that existence would have something to exist in. The basic theory boils down to this; there was a dot about the size of an atom, that was about as dense as all the material in the universe shoved, well, inside of an atom. Because it had no space nor time to exist in, it needed to create itself (expand) in order to exist. I understand that there seems to be a contradiction, but that dot technically did not exist. At least, that's how I understand it in laymen's terms.
He also strawmans Hawking. I won't explain how, because, again, I'm not in the movie. I'm not even going to start on his argument against evolution, because he literally did not prove anything.
I do like the philosophical argument that Sorbo's character makes. Namely, because it's actually true.
This quote puts it best: "A god that would allow that is not worth believing in.
The third debate is finally coming up, and then we're going directly to the ending. That way, I don't actually have to flirt through padding and stretch this out.
Josh's argument is a desperate attempt to use free will as a way to answer the problem of evil. But this argument is debunkable in the fact that if God is omnipotent, could he not have disallowed evil without violating free will? And then there's moral absolutes. Josh uses the "morals are objective and absolute because we agree." Obvious problem: We agree because doing such a thing against our "morals" goes against the good of society and violates someone else's life. Then there's this: Our morals are different. I believe in gay rights. Your casual southern redneck theist stereotype does not. He views it immorally; I do not. This alone proves that morals are not absolute.
He then goes to say that if God doesn't exist, their entire debate was pointless. Honestly, whether or not God exists has nothing to do with it; the entire debate was pointless. So, then Josh argues abunch of things and cue "WHY DO YOU HATE GOD?" Cue villainous breakdown by Sorbo and sudden salvation. What I really hated about this was the fact that atheists don't hate god. They hate the characters of God. It is impossible to hate something you do not believe exists. I hate the character of Bella from Twilight. I do not hate Bella, because she is fictional. This strawman is idiotic, and frankly, offensive.
Well, the ending caps off as they go to a concert. Sorbo gets hit by a car, and then dies. He dies saved, don't worry. Anyhow, suddenly, EVERYBODY'S CELEBRATING... despite the fact that a man just died. I get the point of it saying "OH, don't grieve, he's happy!", but that's actually really ridiculous. Someone there cared and did not want to lose him, saved or not. But, apparently, they don't care that he died. He's in heaven, right? Yeah. Also, the Reverends never did make it to Disney World, as far as I know.
Anyhow, the acting on the movie is something I am going to cover. It's very mediocre. The morals aren't exactly existent and a lot of the movie was boring and felt more like a Christian propaganda field of "Muh Opression Atheists and Muslims and Other Religions are evilz". Yeah. There was a lot of sub-plot which did not really mesh or connect in any way to the story. They literally could have just made a television series. But then I would have a lot more reviews to write. But then, maybe they could get their morals across better. I dunno.
Anyhow, the movie scores a 2/10. Quality, argumentation, and execution are very poor and stereotypical. It uses a lot of apologetics and is basically for people who want to be in an echo chamber. It was horrible. I most certainly don't recommend it, and because I do not want to trigger a spam filter, I won't be posting the link here. Just google it if you want this boring experience.
Reviewed by Senjumaru Shutara