Random thoughts on most things from A. M. Craig.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Review: The Golden Compass

Turns out all the controversy in the world doesn't amount to much if the movie is just stupid.

The Golden Compass had a lot of promise that was wasted on hasty development and lackluster editing. The whole thing played out more like a series premier for some new show on ABC Family. One that would be lucky to see a second season, at that.

And if you're worried about your children losing their testimony over this flick, don't. They may question the studio executives' good judgment, but not their church leaders. They might question their own use of two hours and seven dollars, but probably not the time they spend in worship or with youth groups. In fact, it'll be a sharp kid that makes the connection between the Magesterium, the story's authoritarian, repressive evil empire, and any church they've ever been to.

And for all this controversy, I think it's amazing how much some simple things have been overlooked. The author of His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman, an ardent atheist, said himself that the series was about "killing god". Does that sound like a man who doesn't believe in god? If he wanted us to see the error of religious faith, he should have modeled the villain after the Great Wizard of OZ, a smoke and mirrors trickster creating an illusion. But no, the subject of such scorn in His Dark Materials is, in the story, a very real entity.
These aren't the stories of a man who doesn't believe in god, they're the stories of a man who is mad at god.
Don't ask me what happened to Pullman to make him so upset at deity as to deny His existence. His father died young. His grandfather was a clergyman, maybe something happened there.

But when all is said and done, atheists can cry all day that they don't believe in god. I might just say I don't believe in any real atheist.


Asmond said...

Is it bad that I only want to see this movie because my parent's Stake President asked them not to? Also... interesting concluding paragraphs. Reminds me of the statement, "No atheists in foxholes."

j said...

In the later books, God is pretty much portrayed in a way similar to the Wizard of Oz (weak, impotent). I haven't seen the movie yet, mainly for the reasons you give about it not being that great of a movie.