Movie Review: Jesus Revolution
How did I hear about it?
How could you not? I’m a Calvary Chapel Pastor, it’s in all my circles! LOL. But, it was surprising to me to hear some of the SBC (Southern Baptist) pastors on Twitter talking about it too. Greg Laurie joined the SBC a few years ago.
They showed the trailer at the Pastor’s Conference I was at earlier this week. I got chills and started crying watching that. I also saw a clip of Kelsey Grammer getting choked up talking about Chuck Smith. He was on a talk show encouraging people to go see the movie.
What’s it about?
It’s the story of Greg Laurie becoming a Christian. It’s set in the late ‘60’s and all the turmoil that was going on in society in those days. He meets Cathe. They are pursuing truth and reality with friends and have some near death experiences.
Meanwhile, Lonnie Frisbee meets Pastor Chuck Smith and ushers in some radical changes at Calvary Chapel. Love Song is playing in every church scene.
The story culminates with seemingly everyone deserting or letting Greg down. Greg makes the choice to continue with Jesus in this revolution that has started.
What did I think?
My mom used to say that the book ruins the movie! LOL. That was my experience. I’m pretty familiar with the origins of Calvary Chapel. I thoroughly enjoyed “Lost Boy” the documentary of Greg Lauries life from 2009. I read Greg’s book with the same title. I also read Greg’s book, “Jesus Revolution.” I read “Harvest” by Chuck Smith. I’ve seen the documentary “A Venture in Faith” and “Riptide” with Skip Heitzig. I’ve also read Donald E. Miller, the sociologist, book on Calvary Chapel, called “Reinventing American Protestantism.” I’ve also read a historian’s work on the Jesus People.”
Because of all of that, I kept getting tripped up with the necessary changes to the story that have to happen to adapt something to a feature film. I can understand that. But, the actual story is sooo sooo much better. But, it would be too long for this format.
The other disappointing thing was the dialogue. There were some moments of a clear gospel presentation. But, the story was moved along by dialogue that was devoid of clearly expressed Christian spirituality. It was often vague and nebulous. I realize it’s not a documentary, but, I think it would have helped the story tremendously to have some of that Christian lingo and principles included.
And, Chuck wasn’t like how he was depicted. Again, I understand that his character and dialogue had to be adapted to make a good movie. But, holy smokes, did he ever have a much larger presence and impact in those days.
Yet, despite all of that I loved it. I love that it was a major release. I love that there were tons of showtimes. I loved how it was all over twitter. I love how it’s coinciding with Asbury. I loved watching and seeing what happened in those days. I loved watching Jesus from the Chosen being Lonnie Frisbee. I loved sitting next to my teenaged son. I loved hearing how much he enjoyed it on the way out of the theatre. And, I loved watching it for free, because my friend Rosario rented the theatre, bought popcorn and drinks and had 20 teenaged boys and 5 chaperones all watch it together. It was a great experience all around.
Go see it. We want them to make more movies like this one.
Dig into the real story. It’s far better than what was depicted.
It’s good to be reminded of what God did. It gives us faith for today.