Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The VectorPress Easter Special

Since Hollywood has gone back to sucking, I'm gonna review a movie I knew I was gonna like. Because I've seen it before. Scorsese's The Last Temptation of Christ has been out since forever and you've no doubt heard about it. Probably that it's really offensive.

And I just want to say, if "offensive" is any kind of film criteria for you, go kill yourself. Now. Yes, even you gobshites who intentionally seek out whatever your parents have deemed offensive because you're just as shallow as a Justin Beiber song.

...All dead then? Good.

"And don't come back!"

Last Temptation is by far the only Jesus flick worth seeing. All the others treat the poor old Jew as either too perfect to ever be interesting or as the center of elaborate S&M fantasies. He's a flat character is my point, only existing in the first place to serve some other idiot's evangelism.

Scorsese's Jesus isn't like any of that because he's simply a man. The film takes the common doctrine of Jesus being God in human form and applies it not just to his body but also his mind. God may be omniscient enough to be certain that sacrificing himself to himself will be just what the universe needs, but a man - flawed and limited - will have doubts. It's the doubts of this Jesus, played masterfully by Willem Dafoe, that make him a compelling character and ultimately make U the audience really care about his sacrifice.

I'm going to spoil things now by telling you exactly what the last temptation of Last Temptation is... a normal life. That's it, Jesus can have a boring life full of wives and children and sitting around doing carpentry if he will just come down off the cross. All those other temptations, world domination and more gold than Donald Trump's toilet, that's all so unreal that declining is easy. But a peaceful life, especially one that doesn't end so soon in torment, that's something any man would agree to. He's probably not really the messiah anyway...

"Sure, this beats a slow and painful death..."

Sacrifice is the theme here, kids. And sacrifice doesn't make for very compelling drama if your hero knows he's God. Those doubts of Dafoe-Jesus, they're what make it matter because he ultimately doesn't know if it'll count for anything but does it anyway. Hell, it makes a better evangelical case than the actual evangelicals!

The film is admittedly a little uneven. It drags in the middle and Dafoe-Jesus is a little schizophrenic to say the least. First he's bringing love, then he's bringing the axe - it gets so bad that even Judas calls him on his bipolar bullshit. But that's what you get for following the gospels and it ultimately adds to the image of Jesus as a relatable human character. Because if there's one things humans always do it's fuck up, so what better way for God to really assume human form?

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