Ever get the impression that there aren’t any original stories in films these days? Well you have a point but it’s not always been that different. For example the story of Jesus has been used multiple times for movies, even ones that he isn’t in. Those of you who have listened to the Screenkicker podcast may now doubt the existence of God but that theological quandary isn’t going to be discussed here. So since it’s the big man’s birthday next week I thought we’d have a look at the top five Jesus movies that Jesus isn’t in!
The Matrix Trilogy
The bible talked a lot about how Christ was a charismatic teacher who often kept audiences rapt for days on end. So it might seem a stretch to compare him to a character played by Keanu Reeves. However look a little closer and it all makes sense. Neo is ‘born’ in an incredibly messy virgin birth, his coming as the chosen one prophecised by the John the Baptist style Morpheus. Swap the Romans for machines and you have an epic where our hero sacrifices himself for the sake of mankind. An excellent introduction to the sweet kung-fu skills Jesus used to kick the money lenders out of the temple.
The Green Mile
John Coffey, J.C (get it?) is executed for a crime he didn’t commit but before that he heals the afflicted using only his touch and inspires his persecutors with his bravery and goodness. This one isn’t subtle in any way but doesn’t need to be. Remembered fondly for the breakout performance by the late Michael Clarke Duncan and the emotionally charged finale. A religious allegory in the best sense of the word.
Man of Steel
A controversial choice as it could be argued that Superman is based on the story of Moses who was placed in a basket and and floated down the Nile to save him from the Pharoah. But the story of Kal-El also has some strong similarities to the JC story. Supes does a shitload of miracles, saves tonnes of people and speaks to his father in a giant ice fortress. The ice palace was cut from the final version of the Bible dues to pacing issues. Honest!
Imagine if Christ was an alien with creepily long fingers and a face and body that resemble a turd. That’s E.T. Our immigrant friend performs miracles, is persecuted by the rulers of the land, apparently dies, and then leaves our world. Prefers the use of a flying bicycle over a donkey as his primary mode of transport. Rumours that Jesus had a long glowing finger are unfounded. The innocent choice of Jesus film. Unlike the next one.
The most Jesus-ish (real word? Should be) movie ever is Paul Verhoeven’s ultraviolent, satirical , sci-fi classic. It has all of the elements that any JC film should contain: violent death of lead character – check, resurrection – check, walking on water – check, miracles check. Robocop has it all. This one has even been described by it’s director as a flick that asks the question ‘what if Jesus was American?’. The answer of course is the story of a robot that can produce a gun from it’s leg and murder the shit out of criminals. Amen.
Can you think of anymore? Commando might be a bit of a stretch as we all know it’s the story of Jeremiah. Get in touch below. For the complete opposite of this article check out why I think Zooey Deschanel is the Anti-Christ. Oh and Merry Christmas everyone!