Doce me faces voluntarem tuam quia Deus meus es tu

Sunday, May 02, 2004
Jeffrey Overstreet offers his take on the new Denzel Washington movie. I have yet to see the movie, and probably won't see until it's out on DVD. I won't comment on the movie, but Overstreet's review irks me.

Money quote:

"...Newspaper headlines give us a hint as to why these brutal revenge fantasies are so appealing to audiences right now. Here's an American hero, burdened by grief and moral confusion, entering a foreign environment, warned that there is corruption and devastating power lurking unseen in the shadows. He's angry that someone he loves has been violated, and he's determined to find the hiding places of the "terrorists" (in this case, kidnappers), root them out, and destroy them, even if he has to upset the typical rules of law and order in the process. Viewers seem ready to cheer for American heroes who decide to mete out justice on their own terms, outside the view of news cameras, while paying lip service to Christian faith."

Overstreet is making a blatant comparison between the movie and our current war on terrorism. It's a shame his comparison is so simple-minded. He doesn't come right out and say that the current administration is upsetting the "typical rules of law and order in the process" of rooting out terrorists. Yet if he didn't think so, why would he even bring this up? Vigilante movies, whether right or wrong, are no more popular now than prior to September 11. If Overstreet wants to suggest that the President's motives in Iraq or the broader War on Terror are suspect, he needs to say so. Making subtle hints in a movie review aren't necessary.

Is President Bush "paying lip service to Christian faith?" I would hardly say so. Whether one agrees with it or not, there is a large body of evidence that suggest the President's evangelical faith, held by millions of Americans, is genuine. I would be curious to learn of Overstreet's objections to America's current position in the world, and how he feels it is out of step with true Christian faith. This isn't the first time he has made such suggestions, as seen in his 2003 year-end review of Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World.

I don't attack Overstreet's entire body of work. I very much enjoy his movie criticism, and it is a rare voice of discernment of film in the Christian world. Yet I can't ignore the above comments. Perhaps he made them innocently enough, and he is certainly free to state his opinion. But if Jeffrey Overstreet isn't questioning the President's motives in regard to the Christian mandate, why even make the comparison?
7:45 PM :: ::
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