Touted as Jesus’ life told with “the scope and scale of an action epic”, Son of God hangs its hat on being accessible to the masses while not so subtly aiming to convert its audience into proper Christians. It also emphasizes the fact that Jesus was a man who wished to live among other men, even though he was the son of God. Oh, really? Is that why he keeps giving smarmy, magnanimous looks to the camera? Because he’s so down with the people?
Son of God may be remarkable in that it tells the complete story of Jesus’ life, covering his birth, persecution, resurrection, and everything in between, however, the tone of the film is far from objective. The production values are top notch, the storytelling is sincere, but underneath it all is the hard sell, the expectation that after the movie is over, you’ll try to figure out how you can get some more of this Jesus character into your life and somehow try to be a better person. (Cause none of us knew this was an option til now.) This is evidenced by the extra features emphasizing all the ways you might find God, starting with this Mark Burnett production, which, hopefully, you spent good money to own.
Is the story of Jesus relevant? Absolutely. It shapes religion (duh), world history, and daily life in countless ways. There is no denying the importance of Jesus as both a historical and a spiritual figure, but the reality of his life seems far more workaday than this portrayal. Though fabulous and gentle, there’s a tinge of, “Do you know who I am?” to this Jesus that’s every bit as off-putting as the televangelist who signs autographs.
Special features include the featurette “Son of God Reborn”, behind the scenes footage, the Spanish language featurette “Son of God: Un Reino sin Fronteras”, and a segment on introducing children to a relationship with Jesus.