Just because a movie is labelled a Christian movie doesn’t necessarily make it a good movie. Especially when the message they are trying to get through doesn’t quite get through. I’m referring to the movie What would Jesus Do 2: The Woodcarver (or just “The Woodcarver”). From what I can tell, it’s not really a sequel, because it has nothing in common with WWJD.
The only thing that saves this movie and makes it worth watching is that it stars John “The Pixar Guy” Ratzenberger. I recommend it just to see him in a modern live-action movie, but I don’t recommend it further than that.
The film is about a kid vandalizing a church and being made to help the woodcarver who custom-built parts of the church (Ratzenberger) fix it. The kid’s father, a contractor, prefers that they just order prefabricated parts instead of building them from scratch, but the woodcarver wants to stick with making them by hand, going as far as refusing large sums of money.
The kid’s father is one of the angriest people I’ve ever seen, and every scene he’s in at the first half of the movie, he throws a fit if he doesn’t get his way. The kid himself is a terribly-written character. At the start of the movie, when he’s vandalizing the church and being scalded by his parents and the pastor, it builds him up as this out-of-control delinquent. But the next scene, he’s offering to help the woodcarver and takes an interest in woodcarving, and his troublesome behaviour is forgotten. His character doesn’t change slowly throughout the film, it literally changes between scenes.
The kid’s father also abruptly change. No reason given, he’s just all of a sudden nicer and accepting of everything.
But none of that matters as long as the Christian message shines through.
It does not.
Granted, throughout the movie, characters say that the answer is to pray, and that they just prayed about it. But not one time in the entire film does it tell you how to pray, or even show a character praying. It’s like they took the “safe route” because they feared showing prayer would offend people.
Finally, I know miracles happen. I am not refuting that. What I am refuting is the method in which the film does it. The woodcarver has a month to finish the parts for the church. It takes the full month to do it. Then, the night before it’s due, someone sets fire to the entire work. The woodcarver is ready to give up, but the kid isn’t and says he’s going to pray, then he and his mother (who has no woodcarving experience) remakes the entire project in a matter of hours. I’m pretty sure God doesn’t work like that.
As previously stated, just because a movie is a Christian movie, doesn’t make it good. I give this film a 3 out of 10.
It was on Netflix, but now it’s not. However, it is on YouTube