Most people know Kevin Sorbo as the title character from Hercules and the dashing captain of the starship Andromeda. He is a fixture at comic-cons across the nation for those roles. But, despite his still-bustling acting career, many fans are not aware of much of his recent work. That is, perhaps they were not, until Christian-themed film God's Not Dead hit theaters March 21st and quickly climbed to number four at the box office.
God's Not Dead stars Shane Harper as Josh Wheaton, a college freshman struggling to maintain his faith. Sorbo plays Professor Radisson, a bitterly angry philosophy professor who believes God does not exist. On the first day of class, Radisson insists each student write "God is dead" on a piece of paper. Wheaton nervously refuses, because he believes God is not dead, enraging Radisson. Radisson challenges Wheaton to provide the antithesis, to prove God's existence. The film follows Wheaton's attempts to maintain his faith and persuade his atheist professor.
The film is, on the surface, a classic student-surpasses-teacher story. On paper, its plot is reminiscent of the Christian student vs. atheist professor urban legend that has appeared on everyone's Facebook feed at least once. Though reviews are currently scarce, it has already garnered criticism as a "ham-fisted Christian campus melodrama" by Scott Foundas at Variety. The Hollywood Reporter declared it to be "clearly designed as propaganda".
What is impressive, however, is how well Sorbo pulls of the arrogant, atheist professor role. Sorbo is a dedicated Christian. He even claims to have been blacklisted in Hollywood for his strong religious beliefs, as well as his political ones.
Although Sorbo credits the "well-written script" for his character's strength, THR praised his performance as "smooth" and "effective" despite the character's "one-dimensional" portrayal. It sounds like Sorbo was only being modest.
God's Not Dead is currently playing in theaters across the U.S.
Image via Youtube