Thursday, September 24, 2020

I Rarely Walk Out of A Movie

I usually trust that still, small voice (and it was SO right this time).

Infidel was not on my radar to see.  It already had a few strikes against it but tonight the showing was at a real convenient time, so I decided to roll the dice.

The first strike was that my Dad had mentioned that he wanted to see it.  Don't get me wrong, I get my movie-loving genes from my Dad and we agree on movies way more often than we don't.  The problem was that I had never heard of it.  Me... they guy who follows all the movie sites on Facebook.  Where would he have heard of a movie that I hadn't?

Must be Right-Wing/Christian media.

Strike one.

The second strike was due to Jim Caviezel.  I enjoyed him in Person of Interest but a story Ethan Suplee shared on a podcast really soured me.  Ethan spent most of his early career as the heavy set, funny guy in movies like Remember the Titans and on My Name is Earl

Suplee and Caviezel were on a flight together traveling to a movie shoot.  Caviezel took the opportunity to tell Ethan about Jesus.  He explained that Ethan obviously needed Jesus ... because... and then he made reference to Ethan's obesity, which he contrasted with his own in shape self.  Ethan told his wife on the phone that night that no one had ever made him feel so poorly about himself.  It was due to that and a few other realities that motivated him to get in shape.  He never wanted to be spoken to that way again.  On the podcast, Suplee said he got in shape, not because of Caviezel and Jesus but in spite of them.

Still, I can generally separate someone being a jerk from their performance, so I got my bucket of popcorn and soda and headed into the theater.  I was the only one occupying a seat.

The opening credits came on as I was getting situated.  Across the screen flashed "D'Souza Productions".  I was alone in the theater so I half-shouted at the screen, "DINESH @#$%^&* D'Souza??!!"  I did a quick check on my phone.

"God-#$%%!^!!!" I yelled even louder. 

Dinesh D'Souza is one of the worst Christo-Nationalist political media hacks out there.  A genuinely awful human!  Alex Jones level.  He was sent to prison for campaign finance violations.  Trump pardoned him.

I felt like Cameron pounding on the steering wheel of his car, frustrated with his own indecision.  I was so irritated.


By the time the opening credits ceased, I had decided to stay... until I was finished with my popcorn. I was GOING to eat my bucket of popcorn.

The first 20 minutes vacillated between meh, tacky, and horrible.  They had used plenty of anti-Islamic tropes, set up the "Christian who lost their faith because of a tragedy" sub-plot and infused most moments with that general Christian movie awkwardness that comes from having ulterior motives in the storytelling.

It was getting grueling... but I was only halfway done with my popcorn.

At this point of the movie, Caviezel's character, who is a Christian speaker, goes to Cario to talk at some kind of inter-faith chat with a Muslim TV interviewer.  Caviezel explains that the Abrahamic faiths should not be fighting among each other but against the secularists, who are the true enemy.  The Muslim interviewer heartily agrees... but almost too much.  Caviezel's character, like most evangelicals, gets nervous about appearing too agreeable with another faith so he starts to instruct the Muslim audience about Jesus.  He isn't just a prophet, he is God. The crowd grows agitated.  The interviewer asks why it isn't ok for Muslims to just think of Jesus as a prophet.  Caviezel fires back with, 
"Jesus said, I am the way..."  yada, yada. My eyes were rolling so hard into the back of my head at this point, I completely missed the interviewer's retort. Whatever it was, it was a setup.  The music vamped like an altar call and the camera did a slow pan to Caviezel's face which spoke imploringly to the movie audience:

"For God so loved..."

"That's it, I am #$%#&^% out of here!" Me, my soda, and a half-eaten bucket of popcorn were down the aisle and out of the theater before he could finish that sentence.

It was just awful.

I feel dirty that this movie got my ticket on its ledger.  Perhaps I cannot give it an accurate review because I failed to stay to the end... but I think I will find a way to live with myself.

No comments:

Related Posts with Thumbnails