The Case for ChristCultureCinemaMovie reviews
Adapted from the novel of the same name, Jon Gunn’s drama tells the story of the book’s author, Lee Strobel, a Chicago journalist who uses his investigative skills to attempt to disprove Christ’s resurrection, in order to convince his born-again Christian wife that her new beliefs are wrong.
Mike Vogel’s performance as the troubled Strobel is convincing, as is Erika Christensen’s Leslie Strobel. Whilst individually we see her endeavour to balance her new-found religion with her love for her husband, and his continuous efforts to avoid coming to terms with the situation, when the characters come together it often feels flat, making the film’s emotional moments somewhat lacklustre.
But the plot is gripping. Screenwriter Brian Bird does an excellent job at selecting the very best from the book, to create a captivating story, and the subplot only adds to the development of Strobel’s character, showing his determination to find the truth. Sure, the sources that he uses in his quest to debunk Christianity are biased authorities, a Catholic Priest, a Christian medical doctor, but these are the people the real Strobel sought out, so the film can hardly be blamed.
However, some elements of the script needed improvement. For one, many of the conversations seem forced in, such as when Strobel’s discussion with a professor seems to reach its natural end until he asks, “You a coffee drinker?” as an excuse to continue the exchange elsewhere; it feels unnecessary and contrived. Similarly, some of the movie’s most crucial moments are weakened by sluggish writing, namely Strobel’s expression of “All right, God, you win” upon accepting his faith is hardly extraordinary.
If the intention of the film is to persuade non-believers, then it’s hardly a success, as the evidence presented throughout the story is biased and far-fetched. However, as a stand-alone piece it is an interesting watch, with flawless casting and a good pace. A movie that should appeal to believers and atheists alike.
The Case for Christ is released nationwide on 15th September 2017.
Watch the trailer for The Case for Christ here: