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.
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.
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.
"God-#$%%!^!!!" I yelled even louder.
Dinesh D'Souza is one of the worst Christo-Nationalist political media hacks out there. A genuinely awful human! Alex Jones level. He was sent to prison for campaign finance violations. Trump pardoned him.
By the time the opening credits ceased, I had decided to stay... until I was finished with my popcorn. I was GOING to eat my bucket of popcorn.
The first 20 minutes vacillated between meh, tacky, and horrible. They had used plenty of anti-Islamic tropes, set up the "Christian who lost their faith because of a tragedy" sub-plot and infused most moments with that general Christian movie awkwardness that comes from having ulterior motives in the storytelling.
It was getting grueling... but I was only halfway done with my popcorn.
At this point of the movie, Caviezel's character, who is a Christian speaker, goes to Cario to talk at some kind of inter-faith chat with a Muslim TV interviewer. Caviezel explains that the Abrahamic faiths should not be fighting among each other but against the secularists, who are the true enemy. The Muslim interviewer heartily agrees... but almost too much. Caviezel's character, like most evangelicals, gets nervous about appearing too agreeable with another faith so he starts to instruct the Muslim audience about Jesus. He isn't just a prophet, he is God. The crowd grows agitated. The interviewer asks why it isn't ok for Muslims to just think of Jesus as a prophet. Caviezel fires back with,
"For God so loved..."
"That's it, I am #$%#&^% 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.