The Gospel of John

Rated 3.0 Christopher Plummer’s narration proves to be more potent than the complementary cinematic qualities of this biblical account of the arrival of Jesus as a spiritual force in the emerging Christian church. Director Philip Saville and writer John Goldsmith make more of an earnest rather than dramatic statement of events and faith here as they follow the American Bible Society’s colloquial translation of the New Testament. The three-hour film does not shy away from the conflicts between Christians and the Jewish establishment and covers such miracles as Jesus’ walk on water and his subsequent persecution and crucifixion. It tells a spectacular story in a deliberate, less-than-spectacular fashion but certainly whets one’s appetite for, and is introduced by a trailer of, Mel Gibson’s already provocative The Passion of the Christ.