When his wife dies tragically in a car accident, Michael Evans falls into a funk. In order to find new meaning and life and try to keep his wife’s memory alive, he decides to return to teaching and start an after-school Bible club, something she had always wanted to do. But he is shocked when he is met with extreme resistance both from school authorities and parents. As the pushback goes from bad to worse, Michael considers just leaving it all behind (after all, there’s no churches in his city). But his daughter reminds him that her mom would never have wanted him to give up, so Michael sticks with the fight (literally) and doesn’t back down.
Production Quality (.5 point)
It feels like we repeat ourselves all the time. There are simply too many Christian productions that are all the same. God’s Club offers nothing new—clear video quality along with a host of errors. Between nearly every scene is an awkward fade to black moment that requires a fade-in for the next scene. In many scenes throughout, especially outdoor scenes, there is shaky camera work, which seems to indicate that someone is holding the camera, which infers that the budget was too small to pay for any other equipment. The limited funds are also evident in the few cheap sets that there are, as well as in the prop usage. It seems like the only reason this film is ninety minutes long is because of excessive use of slow motion throughout. Also, in an attempt to be ‘cool’, the creators crafted a weird soundtrack that sometimes covers for their lack of better sound. In short, God’s Club commits all the usual production sins, just in different ways than usual.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
In an attempts to frame a religious freedom conflict, God’s Club portrays an all out school war, complete with fistfights, brawls, vandalism, arson, and sabotage, all because of a silly after-school activity called God’s Club, also known as Bible Club or Bible Group. The worst part is that Christian characters aren’t even able to be sympathized with because they deserve half of the treatment they get, as they either pick fights or continue them. The Christian perspective is also very empty, lacking meaningful depth and espousing odd Christian philosophies as they try to shove the Bible down your throat. There are very few characters in this plot; some of them we are supposed to appreciate without even getting to know them. ‘Bad’ characters are very evil in every possible way until they are randomly fixed up. Dialogue is in-your-face, leaving nothing to the imagination. God’s Club also sports a growing trend in offbeat Christian films: a disdain for proper counseling and psychology. Basically, if you are to believe the worldview of this film, churches are disappearing (the town in this plot has no churches), Christians are being persecuted for having after-school activities, it’s okay for Christians to fight back (literally), and reciting Bible verses will fix your life up. In our experience, none of these things are true in reality, so why portray them in a film? Because you’re trying to make some kind of quick buck by preaching to the choir.
Acting Quality (0 points)
Why do movies consistently cast Stephen Baldwin in major roles he’s not suited for? He’s downright creepy in this movie, and when he’s not creepy, he’s lethargic. It’s beyond me why Corbin Bernsen consistently involves himself in these sorts of messes. The few other cast members that there are either make no positive impact or remind us why they’re not in any other notable films. In short, there is clearly no coaching for this cast, thus obvious problems go unchecked.
Was there any thought during the making of this film to attempt to make it realistic and down-to-earth? We highly doubt it. At least the persecution subplot of God’s Not Dead is somewhat realistic. God’s Club is a trumped up preaching-to-the-choir load of nonsense only designed to further inflame Christians against ‘the world’ and give them a chip-on-the-shoulder mentality to approaching non-believers. None of this movie is reality and it’s a total sham and embarrassment to portray people in this way. As Christians, our time would be better served using movies to actually reach people for the Gospel and to encourage Christians to go deeper in their faith by using meaningful and realistic plots combined with professional production and acting. Until Christians are stronger in their faith and until more people are reached with the saving power of Jesus Christ, we have nothing else we need to be discussing.
Final Rating: .5 out of 10 points