I was on Rotten Tomatoes looking up reviews and came across a page for the movie “Persecuted”. I saw that James Remar, Bruce Davison, Dean Stockwell and Fred Thompson were all cast members. My interest piqued so I clicked on the trailer.
I had to immediately pause. Gretchen Carlson? That doesn’t bode well for the legitimacy of this movie. It appears set up as Christian thriller. I don’t take issue with that. It’s a genre that has a built-in audience. I have a problem when they paint the Christians as completely innocent and right and those who oppose them as evil. There are many shades of grey and nuance that would be nice to show up in movies like this more.
The plot is a senator wants to pass a religious reform bill and he needs the support of TV dad to everyone James Remar. Remar is a pastor who according to the trailer reaches more people than the evening news. This is a trope that appears over and over in political thrillers. A singular person stands in the way of the bad guy(s) from getting their way. They can’t kill the protagonist because it would be to suspicious or it would galvanize and make their supporters who would become more hardened. So instead they make up convoluted plots that no basic person would believe.
There are plenty of other films that paint the religious (Christian) as crazy fanatics. Those who just randomly quote passages that seem bible like and are willing to kill and believe the most insane things. This is the other side of that coin. That the bad atheist/shadow government types will destroy the faith and go to any means to further their agenda
I came across something interesting while looking up this movie. The campaign of the Senator who’s after the pastor is named SUMAC. Poison sumac is a shrub that causes a rash and is more toxic than poison ivy and poison oak.
Not long after seeing the trailer online. I saw a TV promo from the movie. This flashed across the screen and again it was a pause worthy moment:
Despite very little marketing thus far, the movie’s trailer was recently No. 1 on the iTunes “most popular” list, a feat insiders attribute to a robust Facebook page and the ripped-from-the headlines themes that the movie explores.
Persecuted comes out July 18th and I know I’ll end up watching it at some point if not to see what deus ex machina resolves the plot.