I don’t really know Christian author Lee Strobel as much and have never read his work, but I have heard of how attempting to disprove Christianity while he was an atheist turned his life around and made him a believer. How, you ask? Well, I have heard stories of people turning their lives to Jesus, whether it would be an atheist claiming to have become a Christian by going to Hell for a brief time, or someone waiting for Christ to find them. As crazy and unbelievable as some may think, the stories people tell are inspiring and thought-provoking; based on Strobel’s book titled ‘The Case For Christ’ being one of those worldwide best-sellers, I have come to the conclusion that his story may have been an inspiring one. I even found myself feeling Strobel’s change near the end to be one of the most touching moments in film history.
As for the film itself, ‘The Case For Christ’ is surprisingly one of the better faith-based movies, especially one by Faith company ‘PureFlix’. From the critical reception that ‘PureFlix’s films get for being preachy attempts at inspiring stories meant to bring more audiences to God, films such as ‘God’s Not Dead’, and ‘Do You Believe?’ come off as too preachy and play off as laughable. Most faith-based movies aren’t terrible, being that the heart is in the right place and can be inspiring, yet the only one I had trouble with was ‘God’s Not Dead’, which was badly acted and had an unintentionally mean-spirited ending.
‘The Case For Christ’ succeeds in its job to possibly change you and make you feel for its characters, but the main question it asks is: Can an atheist and a born again Christian still be married? The film puts the marriage of the real-life characters of Strobel (Portrayed by Mike Vogel) and his loving wife Leslie (Erika Christensen), when Leslie decides to learn more about Christianity leading her to actually becoming one, after an incident involving their child (Haley Rosenwasser) at a restaurant and a nurse named Alfie (L. Scott Caldwell) saves her life, leading Lee to use his journalism job to try to disprove the religion by conducting interviews with evangelical leaders to learn more. What he doesn’t know is that these interviews are the key for his personal change.
While all this is going on, Strobel also has to deal with an investigation of a recovering fellow police officer’s shooting by a man who may or may not be guilty, which makes the film struggle with holding a consistent plot in its kind arm.
However, the strong moments from ‘The Case For Christ’ come from the performances. Vogel plays Strobel as half-nice/half-jerk to everyone he comes into contact with, including Leslie, and his coworkers. I was really impressed with both Vogel’s performance and Christensen’s performance as Leslie. Faye Dunaway and Robert Forster also appear in this film as a psychologist who Strobel turns to, and Strobel’s estranged father, who he doesn’t like.