For instance, actor Ray Wise who played Satan in the CW show Reaper, was the lawyer for the ACLU. No matter how hard I tried, every time he smiled I thought he was evil. Perhaps that was intentional on the part of the producers. I don't know, but if this were portrayed realistically it would have been the ACLU representing the Christian teacher and not the other way around. The myth that the ACLU doesn't represent Christians, is unfortunately promoted in this movie and adds to the growing paranoia that evangelical Christians have today. This "us" versus "them" mentality was evident throughout the entire movie. The message therefore came across as, "If you aren't a Christian then you are evil." In fact, all those who were against Christians were portrayed as evil, unless they were searching for God of course.
Then we have three other stories mingled in with the main one, which made no sense to me on why they were there. I didn't find out until after the movie that these were characters from the first movie. Clearly, they were not memorable characters because I saw the first movie and didn't remember any of them accept for Pastor Dave who was only in this movie to set up the third one - yes there will be a God's Not Dead 3 and I'm not sure how I feel about that.
While I deeply appreciate and understand what the producers and writers were trying to get at with this movie - that Christians are being persecuted in this country - it was far too unrealistic for my tastes. The fact that I felt no empathy for the main character at all, convinced me that character development is what this movie really lacked. For example, we find out that Brooke (the girl who asked the "Jesus" question) has lost her brother in some kind of an accident six months prior, but it's never explained. It's never explained why her parents aren't in mourning, or why they never knew their son was a Christian or why they are atheists. FYI - they are the ones involved in the lawsuit against the teacher. Why? Because all non-believers are out to get Christians. There is simply no other explanation given in this movie other than that one. We also have no character development for Grace. Why is she alone with her grandfather? What's her backstory? We are never told. Again, if character development had been considered in this movie I might have been more invested in it.
So, what did I like about this movie? I liked the presentation of having a relationship with Jesus. The character of Grace made it clear that it wasn't just a belief in God, it was a real relationship. Something I don't think many non-Christians understand. I also liked some of the courtroom drama. The well presented arguments that Jesus is an historical figure were very well done, with a guest spot by author Lee Strobel who wrote The Case for Christ. In addition, the subject matter is sure to create discussions in the hopes that Christians will learn to stand up for their faith. Indeed the final scenes involving Pastor Dave (based on an actual event), will leave the Christian pondering what they would do if they ever had to make a choice between obeying the government or obeying God. That was one of the things I did like very much about God's Not Dead 2. The Christians all stood firm when tested and did not waver in their belief that God is not Dead, or that Jesus is real enough that a person can have a relationship with Him. And so the movie in a rather lacklustre way makes its point.