Rusty Wright: Mark Burnett’s ‘Resurrection’ Movie Review

Hollywood’s Bible Power Couple is back again – with a flourish.

They really take this spiritual stuff seriously.  In 2012, my wife and I attended a dinner in Washington, DC, where actress Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) announced that she and producer-husband Mark Burnett (SurvivorShark TankThe Voice) planned to devote the rest of their careers to creating works that honor God.

They were heading to Morocco to film a series on the Bible for the History Channel.  After dinner, Burnett enthusiastically described his vision to present Jesus “as strong—powerful, impressive.”  2013’s The Bible series drew 100 million viewers.  The couple’s 2014 Son of God feature film garnered significant box-office success.  In 2016, their Ben-Hur portrayed a biblically-themed fictional classic.

Angst and adventure

Now in 2021, they’re bringing the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection to home streaming.  Their dramatic Resurrection, originally intended for theater release, has made a COVID-era pivot to communicate the personal angst and adventure of those crucial days to a global audience.  It debuts March 27 on Discovery+.

This film is apt Easter fare.  Early on, we see Peter, Jesus’ disciple, breathlessly running to watch Jesus’ appearance before Caiaphas, the high priest, who accuses Jesus of blasphemy deserving of death for claiming to be the Messiah.  A woman points out Peter as one of the Nazarene’s followers.  Peter denies it vehemently, then realizes he’s failed the leader to whom he’d pledged his life.

The drama conveys conflicts – internal and external – well known to aficionados of the classic accounts, leavened with some speculative dialogue to develop the story for the screen.  Peter struggles with the guilt of his denial, as does Judas with his betrayal.  Roman governor Pontius Pilate and his wife argue over the wisdom of crucifying Jesus.  “Killing him won’t be the end of him,” she warns.  But Caiaphas predicts, “The Nazarene’s doctrine will decompose with his corpse.”

After the crucifixion and burial, Jesus’ grieving followers wrestle among themselves with whether they should believe Jesus’ prediction of his resurrection.  He had told them, “The Son of Man must suffer many things … and be killed and be raised up on the third day.”

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SOURCE: Assist News Service

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