Persecuted – Movie Review
Persecuted – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 18 Jul 2014
Persecuted is an inept mess of a movie with James Remar doing an admirable job of trying but ultimately failing to make his lead character, a preacher named John Luther into anything tangible. Luther has a troubled past. This is told to us but not shown. He refuses to play ball with the transparently villainous Senator Harrison (Bruce Davison) who is planning to create an interfaith organization. It is inferred that this is some sort of threat to traditional “Christian America.” Luther’s own church has a seedy corporate underbelly that talks in terms of fiscal quarters and tax breaks.
This was a very painful 91 minutes.
Somewhere in here is a radical Christian conservative story about the perceived persecution of Christians in America. A crisis of faith played deadly serious as something like the so-called war on Christmas. But the writing and overall storytelling vacillate between condescension and cowardice. It’s condescending to give us characters that are obvious mustache twirling villains and cowardly to never come out and say what it is our protagonist (and the filmmakers by extension) really stands for.
Hannah, John M. and I saw it in the theater had a discussion in the car: