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Critique Picture
   Final Film Critique: 
   The God Complex

   Director: Mark Pirro
   Expected Rating: R
   Distribution: Self-distributed
   Budget: $943
   Genre: Religious Comedy

   Running Time: 118 minutes

   Release Dates: August 29, 2009
   Trailer: Click Here
   Review Date: April 1, 2010
   Reviewed By: Monika DeLeeuw-Taylor

Final Score:
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The myth you are about to see is true, only the facts were changed to protect the ignorant...
                                      - Intro to The God Complex

This satire starts with the Biblical creation story, progresses to Noah, Job, and Abraham, then to Mary and Joseph, the birth and death of Jesus, and the present day - familiar stories to most anyone. However, they are told in a completely different way in God Complex.

There are a lot of jokes made at the expense of these stories. Some could be quite offensive, but, to be fair, some were funny. In the Garden of Eden, Adam looks rather suspiciously like Rocky from the Rocky Horror Picture Show. God initially creates Adam's companion 'Pete,' who is booted out of Eden for, er, inappropriate conduct and, while he is leaving, he and Adam stretch out their fingers toward each other - think Michelangelo’s 'Creation of Adam.' When Eve is eventually created, Adam initially has no interest in her, until the wind blows her hair away from her chest, of course. On the ark, Noah and his family discover that they haven't brought any food with them into the ark, Noah decides to eat the animals - starting with the unicorns and the dragons. After Jesus is born, Mary sues God in The Deities’ Court for child support. The humor does spend the majority of its time in areas that could be considered both vulgar and offensive. There are multiple references to sex and genitals - which are referred to with childish slang terms, the conception of Jesus is an accident stemming from God's breakup with his girlfriend and Mary's excessive horniness, and the burning bush is actually depicted as a rather intimate part of a woman's anatomy. Freud would be drooling.

There are obviously a lot of logical problems with the movie, but that is usually to be expected with a satirical film, which makes them less of an issue. For instance, God gets the idea to write a book about his life (the Bible, of course,) after Jesus is already born - though at that time the Old Testament would already have been written. Also there are multiple word plays on the names chosen for newly-created animals and plants, although neither God nor Adam would have actually spoken English. Obviously, in a satire, that's just being picky.

I can understand how an atheist, agnostic, or even an irreligious person would enjoy this film- the majority of its jokes are at the expense of things that appear to be illogical or contradictory within these stories. For example, how Mary could become pregnant without having sex, or why Noah was told to build an ark when God was capable of building it himself. Along with this is the underlying tone of cynicism that seems present in everyone who has rejected the idea of religion: "If God is so good, why does he let bad things happen?" This question is addressed by making the character of God into some sort of egomaniac puppet master who demands that people worship him and show their devotion by fulfilling ridiculous demands, such as his command that Abraham sacrifice his son Isaac for no apparent reason.

This bizarre
religious satire,...
...Is centered around a
bowling shirt-clad God.

Visual Look
From a visually aesthetic perspective, the movie looks pretty good. The costumes fit with what would normally expect from a Biblical movie - with the exception of God, who wears khakis and a bowling shirt. In the creation of "Pete," there are really realistic-looking special effects of God actually cutting Adam open and yanking out his rib. The set dressing was also quite good, if not rather heavy on the CGI (more on that later.) My one complaint would be the location where God was during the creation story. Despite the satirical nature of the film, a rather unattractive-looking forest with barren trees still didn't seem like a good choice - at the very least this bit should have been shot in a nicer area, especially since the rest of the locations with Adam and Eve are grassy with lots of plant life.

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