Early in the book “The Problem of Pain,” in an analogy which is the epitome of the brilliance and humor of C.S. Lewis, he compares the relationship of God and man to that of a dog owner and his dog. It is for the dog owner’s joy that he owns the dog. It is inherently for the dog’s joy. It is also so that the owner has another being that it can love. The master values the dog loving him too, but to mature the dog, there are things which must be done that might not always be pleasant for the canine. Being washed, trained not to steal, and the dreaded process of house training are all part of the process. But in the end, those unpleasant activities are for the good of the dog. With his rapier wit, Lewis writes, “To the puppy the whole proceeding would seem, if it were a theologian, to cast grave doubts on the ‘goodness’ of man: but the full-grown and full-trained dog, larger, healthier, and longer-loved than the wild dog…would have no such doubts.”
The movie Taken is my favorite action movie ever. Today, the sequel premiered. While I’ve been eagerly awaiting this release for the last few months, I also had concerns.
For a blockbuster hit, the original Taken was a relatively low budget film. After its initial success, more money was pumped into the sequel. Part of what I love about the original is its simplicity. It doesn’t have all of the bells or whistles of some action movies. There aren’t ridiculously extreme circumstances. We don’t see cities destroyed. It’s simply about a highly trained man on a mission to save his daughter who has been kidnapped into an all to real underworld of human trafficking. After some intial plot development, the original Taken was all action. There weren’t any corny jokes, they didn’t slow us down with some love story subplot. It was just Liam Neeson killing bad guys.
I realize that this movie came out over a month ago, but I finally saw the Dark Knight Rises this weekend. As I was sitting in the theater, throughout the movie, I found myself thinking, “This isn’t very good…Actually, this is pretty stupid..”
I understood that the movie wasn’t going to be realistic. It’s an action movie. But even if the movie is unrealistic, I still expect people to do things that seem somewhat logical. Throughout this movie, characters continually did things that made no sense and this really ruined the film for me. There were some areas where it was just too difficult to suspend belief.
Growing up in a foreign land, being expected to abide by another culture’s customs, and eventually being forced to leave the place which had become home. These are all issues which Dr. James K. Hoffmeier faced while growing up in Egypt as the son of American missionaries. Political pressure would end up causing the revocation of his family’s visas and he again became an alien in Canada.