Of the 16 customer reviews printed prior to 4/26/12, every single one of them are by one time users whose only review for this site are for this movie. And 14 of them are short 5 star raves. That could mean one of two things. Either the movie strikes such a powerful chord with viewers, it inspires them to go to lengths that they have never done for any other movie, book, or personal product. That's pretty impressive! The other option, of course, seems a little more likely and is far more troubling. However, this being a movie about faith and honor, I'll choose to accept every comment at face value and truly hope that this movie was so inspiring that it touched that many people.
For my purposes, I'm going to address the well-intentioned "The Genesis Code" as a movie and not as any sort of ideological treatise. I know that the film caters to a particular Christian based audience, but again--this is simply a movie review and not a discourse on what people should or should not believe. The basic premise behind "The Genesis Code," however, is one that intrigues me. With a degree in Biology, I firmly believe in the sciences and the principles of Evolution. I have never thought that the existence of Evolution discounted the presence of a higher being, though. To my way of thinking, the two things do not disprove one another but I have never taken the Bible as a literal history. "The Genesis Code" does. Its characters try to reconcile the timeline presented in Genesis with the timeline presented by Evolution, saying that both are correct.
The film stars a likable Logan Bartholomew as a star college hockey player whose mother is in a coma. One day he meets a devout school reporter (Kelsey Sanders) assigned to cover his story. (Apparently she has no deadline as the "interviews" go on day after day, this is one in-depth piece!) She thinks that faith and prayer will help in his struggles, but he is resistant to their power as a man of science. The film is basically structured into three distinct parts and is far too lengthy at 138 minutes. In Part One, the couple and their friends play cute. Every conversation ends up talking about religion, but it is interspersed among witty dialogue and likable characters. In Part Two, an illustrated lecture is presented discussing The Genesis Code. While they try to keep it entertaining, this segment is about 30 full minutes of exposition and grinds the film's narrative momentum into a complete standstill. It's interesting, but hardly revelatory. Part Three wraps everything up with a bow. The power of prayer becomes a central focus and what was so appealing about the earlier part of the film dissolves into preachiness.
The film benefits from small bits by stars as diverse as Louise Fletcher, Ernest Borgnine, Fred Dalton Thompson, Susan Blakely, Lance Henriksen, and Catherine Hicks (in the most thankless role as a patently ridiculous school administrator). But this is largely a show for the younger cast and many of the supporting players are quite engaging. Bartholomew, however, is a find and someone that I think we'll see more of. The film's screenplay relies heavily on people having conversations that would not occur as naturally (or as often) in the real world, but that's to be expected. I thought the first part of the film is surprisingly charming (3 1/2 stars), the lecture segment is interesting but too long (2 1/2 stars), and the teaching moment finale is completely over-the-top (1 1/2 stars). Overall, it was a nice, if uneven, effort that I'm sure many will be willing to embrace. It does target a specific audience, however, and if you're not in that group--you will find certain segments of the film lacking in subtlety and balance. KGHarris, 4/12.