After months of mentioning it on his radio and TV shows, and after intensely badgering us in the past two weeks, Hannity succeeded in getting me to see his new movie, Let There Be Light.
Frankly I was surprised that it was even showing in Memphis. It is, at least for now, at the Malco complex at Germantown Road and Macon.
There were 16 of us in the audience. That wasn’t a lot, but it was early on a Monday afternoon and not a prime time for movie viewers.
If you listen to Hannity, you won’t be surprised that several of his favorite themes thread throughout it. For example, it opens with photos of the twin Trade Towers, followed by clips of the chaos on 9/11. ISIS is prominently mentioned in the movie and Hannity plays himself in scenes near the end of the movie. Earlier he also gets in a few digs at snotty, elitist “comedian” Bill Maher. I think the audience enjoyed that.
Another surprising element was how may minorities had key roles in the film. Perhaps Hannity fears the usual reaction of Hollywood that all conservatives are racist, but he probably was sincere in wanting to be all inclusive. Dionne Warwick has a slight singing role in the movie. It’s been a long time since she’s been in action.
I knew that the film’s theme was conversion to belief in God, specifically Jesus. I didn’t realize it was the whole film. I hadn’t watched all of Fox News’ interviews with Kevin Sorbo and his wife, who are the main characters as well as producers. They both did a very good job in roles that were challenging. They avoided being too obvious and predictable as well as stereotypical. Their children played their children in the movie.
There were a few bad actors, however. One of which was Sorbo’s literary agent. He was over the top and diminished the impact. His publicist, Tracee, also teetered on overacting.
The plot – that of a divorced atheist who lost all faith on the death of his 9 year old son – had the expected conversion and redemption. At times the movie indulged in hokey and hack with a little unbelievable thrown in as when Sorbo’s character predictably crashes his car while driving drunk (the event that triggers a near death experience). He wakes up in the hospital without a single bruise or broken bone. They really should have done a little makeup job on that.
At other times it is truly touching and deep. The scene where he talks to his wife’s pastor comes to mind. They made it very powerful.
Let There Be Light held my attention for the full hour and forty minutes. I didn’t see coming the plot twist that hit near the end. I think it would be impossible to see it without feeling some compassion. I know I teared up several times.
After it ended and we went to the car we turned on Hannity’s radio show. He was talking about the movie and how successful it had been over the weekend, even though it showed in fewer than 400 theaters. The George Clooney movie Suburbicon opened in thousands and only did slightly better. Hannity said it was one of the biggest faith based movies to open in history.
I believe it will be successful, especially when it hits the DVD market. Hannity understands the American people much better than his fellows in the media. He was the only one at Fox who saw Donald Trump’s road to victory. Here he has tapped into our desire to see films that don’t insult us. He knows that big Hollywood names actually repulse a lot of us because they can’t be separated from their radical beliefs.
Hannity understands that Americans are decent, helping people with a deep Christian faith. It was a relief to see a movie not peppered with foul language, gratuitous sex scenes and violence. That’s not who we are.
If you get a chance, see it. Hannity mentioned that it got about a 90 out of 100 score from the online film critic site Rotten Tomatoes.
You may or may not agree.
But it’s nice to support an independent movie with the right values for once.