While it shouldn't come as much of a surprise to learn that Son of God
was adapted from another medium, this retelling of the story of Jesus Christ borrows less from the actual Bible than from The Bible
: The film was adapted from last year's extremely successful History Channel miniseries. Yet this is a small-scale affair. Compared to Noah sailing the Great Flood or Moses parting the Red Sea, Jesus' miracles look more like card tricks (so many involve fish!). After the three wise men's brief visit with an already wearily devout Mary—played by Touched by an Angel
's Roma Downey, who produced the film with her husband, reality-programming legend Mark Burnett—we're introduced to a Christ fully grown and swimming in beatitude. As played by Portuguese heartthrob Diogo Morgado, our hero sets out getting the band together by forcing meet-cutes with each apostle and generally papering over wholly reasonable questions with a self-delight bordering on arrogance. Has any iteration of Christ so clearly betrayed a Rock Star
complex? With the apostles all but indistinguishable—save for a Judas oozing disrepute and the ever-doubting Thomas, who looks like a soccer hooligan for reasons never explained—the conflicted villains of our tale effortlessly steal center stage as the action moves to a cheaply CGI-modeled Jerusalem. After a resurrection scene that feels especially tacked-on, our sermon has ended, and I don't think the sequel's coming any time soon.