First thing noticeable is that there a lot of Sorbos involved in the making of this Christian movie. First and foremost, Kevin Sorbo stars (as Saul Hannity) and directs. His wife, Sam Sorbo co-writes and produces while their sons Braeden and Shane join in the acting cast (terrible though they are) playing Saul’s two sons.. The plot follows an atheist, Saul (Kevin Sorbo) who goes through a near-death experience in an auto accident and converts to Christianity.
Despite the film’s flaws, there are a good moments. The tenderness the couple go through in the time of Saul’s crisis is believable and touching. There are also a few genuine funny moments like the running joke of the doorman who lets anyone up to Saul’s apartment.
The script contains references like to Shakespeare’s Taming of the Shrew, though the referenced is explained, director Sorbo probably not believing that his audience is literate enough to get it. The naming of the main character as Saul is also biblical, the apostle Paul initially called Saul before his conversion to Christianity.
Another pleasure might be noting all the times the film gets manipulative – which is a whole lot. The best example can be seen in the scene where Saul is just recovering in the hospital, pushed in a wheelchair while he asked his ex-wife, Kate (Sam Sorbo) to carry his jacket. Her reply: “I am through carrying your baggage.” There is no need for him to ask her to carry his jacket as it is laid on his lap but he asks Kate to do so for that one-liner to be made. Dionne Warwick’s performance at the wedding reception is a neat surprise.
The character of Saul’s agent, Norm (Daniel Roebuck) wears a bow tie and is portrayed as a straight person (he requests Saul in one one scene for his mistress’s sister or cousin introductions) though it is clear he is a closeted gay, from his mannerisms. Homosexuality is always a no-no, so this portrayal is odd.
Saul’s conversion is difficult to take in, in the film’s key scene – maybe not so for believers but for non-believers. But there is a test of faith segment in the film’s last 20 minutes that should keep Christians happy and faith enhanced. Non-believers might shrug unless they love tearjerkers.
To Sorbo’s credit, his direction is effective and suits the film’s purpose. The conversion scene is a problem, so Sorby quickly moves the next scene to Saul’s baptism.
The film goes right downhill from this point. Christian believers might well be the only ones that will not complain. The film’s high point is the start when Sorbu’s Saul puts down Christianity and hails atheism. Worst is the romantic element pushed to the limit with Saul and his ex-wife Kate romancing again.
Why is the film called LET THERE BE LIGHT? Besides Davey’s words to Saul during his death moment, the other reason is the shameless spiritual promotion (a phone app?) of Christianity.