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No Temptation

June 4, 2003

So, I finally watched Last Temptation of Christ.

Spoiler-laden review follows.

Short version: Vehemently opposed by the Christian churches because it gives the impression Jesus was the dumbest prophet of any religion on all seven continents.

Okay, that’s a cheap shot. But overall, I have to hope that the book read a lot better than the movie played. I have no problem with Jesus moving from doubt to becoming the prophet. However, there has to be one of two things, plotwise, for this to happen. Either he gradually comes about to that position, after time, or a catalytic event happens that pushes him in that direction. Neither happened. One minute he’s uncertain, confused, doubtful, then some snakes (the devil) show up, tempt him and… he’s uncertain but he has to leave, go out, and speak God’s word!

It’s not that it’s a bad movie, but it’s not good. Harvey Keitel is okay as Judas, but…. Mr. White as Judas just is distracting (that’s a Reservoir Dogs reference, and I know this movie came out years before RD, but still… nothing I can do about the connections my brain draws), and the goofy dialogue between the disciples (“I want more sheep.”) is really jarring.

I guess the whole movie had too many ‘What the hell?’ moments. What the hell was going on with John the Baptist at the river? What the hell was the action hero Jesus thing? What the hell was going on with Jesus believing everything his ‘guardian angel’ told him?

So, to sum up, I had no problem with the intended message (Jesus was man as well as God), but the movie as a whole was decidedly un-divine.

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  1. June 5, 2003 9:04 AM | #1

    yeah, I have to agree. when I watched it back in high school, I just kept saying “Huh?”.
    Jesus Christ Superstar. *THAT’S* a religious movie I can get behind. that, and Life of Brian…

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