Movie Review - Jackie K Cooper - “The Case For Christ” (Pure Flix)
“The Case For Christ” is the film version of Lee Strobel's best selling book of the same name. It is a love story as well as a story of faith peopled with real life characters who argue for Christianity and against it. The fact it is based on a true story makes the film more engrossing than a fictionalized account would be. The Strobels lived this story and now it is up on the big screen.
The movie takes place during the late seventies and early eighties. When it opens Lee (Mike Vogel) is a celebrated news reporter who has written a couple of exposes which have brought him a limited amount of fame. He is well known for his work as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and is close with several other reporters there. He is married to Leslie (Erika Christensen) and they have a young daughter and another child on the way.
One night the family goes out to eat. While there, their daughter is given a gumball as a prize for eating her supper. When it becomes lodged in her throat both Lee and Leslie panic. Another patron at the restaurant is a woman named Alfie (L. Scott Caldwell). She is a nurse and manages to dislodge it and save the girl's life. When Leslie tries to thank her the woman replies that it is all because of God's grace as she was supposed to be at another restaurant but had felt a need to come to this one.
Alfie and Leslie stay in touch and Alfie begins to share her Christian faith with her. Leslie is a receptive pupil. However when Lee learns of her involvement with Alfie and her faith he is angered. He and Leslie have been practicing atheists and have had no interest in religion at all. The more Leslie becomes involved the more incensed Lee becomes.
At work Lee discusses Leslie's involvement in this “cult” with another reporter. The reporter replies that Lee should treat this like any other story. He should investigate, find the facts, and present them for a conclusion. This sounds reasonable to Lee and so he does just that. He begins to assemble the facts to make the case for or against Christianity. He is leaning in his heart toward finding the “against.”
Both Vogel and Christensen are very good in their roles as the Strobels. However it is the casting of Caldwell as the Christian witness that solidifies the story. Caldwell oozes compassion and love. You never doubt Alfie's convictions and it is easily apparent why Leslie is so drawn to her and in turn her faith. Caldwell's role is a small one in the movie but it is one of maximum importance.
On the minus side Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster have cameos in the film. The roles played by these two actors cold have been played by any other moderately talented actor in Hollywood. Being “stars” they bring the movie to a halt when they appear. It jars you out of the story for the short time they are on screen.
The film is rated PG for adult thematic elements.
The Strobels story is a fascinating one. It pits the non-believer against the believer and lets the chips fall where they may. Lee Strobel used all of the material he could find to study the story of Jesus Christ and when he was finished he wrote a best selling book. This movie brings this story compellingly to life.
I scored “The Case For Christ” a verdict of 6 out of 10.
Jackie K Cooper - www.jackiekcooper.com