THE THORN is a filmed version of a popular stage play about God, His Creation and the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Using dance, martial arts, aerial acrobatics, and powerful drama, it begins with God’s creation of the world and the Fall of Man. It then weaves through time, highlighting the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and ending with the beginning of the early church. The Apostle John, the last living disciple of Jesus, while in exile on Patmos, relates to a young boy, Asher, how the epic story from Genesis to Revelation is all about Jesus, the only begotten Son of God.
THE THORN is a rousing storytelling spectacle with outstanding writing, drama, music, and well-choreographed performance art. It combines drama with dance, aerial acrobatics, martial arts, and music. The production brings viewers a contextualization of the “Gospel According to John.” It’s very innovative and dramatically powerful, but it remains faithful to its source material. MOVIEGUIDE® urges caution, for some scary spiritual battles between angels and demons and the violence of The Passion and Death of Jesus Christ in THE THORN.
(CCC, BBB, VVV, N):
Dominant Worldview and Other Worldview Content/Elements:
Very strong Christian, biblical worldview weaves through time, highlighting the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, while beginning with Creation and ending with the beginning of the early church
No foul language
An opening scene shows a man having troubling dreams of his being dragged into a Roman arena where gladiators are fighting and killing (men are cut, beaten, and one’s throat is cut, all without blood), and he wakes up just before he is struck with a sword, many angels and demons fight in spiritual combat, Satan gives Judas a noose and his suicide is implied, the scourging of Jesus with the Cat of Nine Tails shows Jesus horrifically cut and bloodied, Jesus carries his cross and is nailed to it (the impact is shown, with spasms, bulging eyes, cries of pain, etc.), His crucifixion is realistically depicted with a body tortured beyond human semblance, his horrific wounds are very clearly depicted throughout this prolonged sequence, and a Roman soldier strikes a child
A man wearing only a cloth around his waist is shown in a few scenes horrifically beaten
No alcohol use
Smoking and/or Drug Use and Abuse:
No smoking or drugs; and,
No miscellaneous immorality.
THE THORN is a filmed version of a popular stage play that begins with the creation of the world and weaves through time, highlighting the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and ending with the beginning of the early church. THE THORN is a rousing storytelling spectacle that combines dance, martial arts, aerial acrobatics, and emotionally powerful drama to present the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
THE THORN combines dance, martial arts, aerial acrobatics, and emotionally powerful drama. While in exile on the island of Patmos, the Apostle John, the last living disciple of Jesus, relates to a young boy named Asher the narrative of Jesus Christ and His Gospel. He tells the boy how the epic story from Genesis to Revelation is really all about Jesus, the Son of God, the Word made flesh. John keeps Asher (and the audience) spellbound with his earnest, passionate and wise report, of “that which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we looked upon and have touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life.” In so doing, the listeners and viewers are drawn to the Son of God, whose wondrous works changed the world forever.
THE THORN is a rousing storytelling spectacle. Production values are very high with outstanding writing, fitting music and well-choreographed performance art expressively depicting and adorning nearly every scene. Many of the scenes are quite breathtaking, such as when Jesus prays in Gethsemane and angels and demons are battling all around him, or when Satan tempts Jesus to not endure the scandal of the cross, or the epic joy of the resurrection scene. The performance art play format enhances the story in a very faithful way. Jim Miles’s performance as John is compelling. This moving storyteller gives audiences a feel for what it would have been like to have gazed at the Lord on the cross, the next moment referring to himself as “Jesus’ favorite” in quite a hilarious and historically accurate fashion. Song lyrics throughout are largely biblical and set the right tone for different situations.
The production’s depiction of the biblical creation, the Fall of Man and the Divine Promise of a Redeemer carried forward to the time of Christ gives viewers some excellent historical background and context. The annunciation to Mary, the baptism of Jesus, the multiple miracles, Satan’s entering Judas, Jesus’ prayer in Gethsemane, His crucifixion and resurrection, and the Acts of the Apostles are all powerfully rendered in a heartrending and inspiring way that’s true to Scripture. Even John’s baptism of Jesus is carried off with brevity and accuracy. The movie manages to top other similar cinematic portrayals, such as Mel Gibson’s THE PASSION, in that THE THORN does not stop at the Passion of Christ but continues to the equally important Resurrection of Christ.
THE THORN has an unabashed and thoroughgoing Biblical Christianity. John calls Jesus “a true hero,” and this could not be said better. The show captures the epic nature of Christ as the Great Hero King, who crushed the Adversary, freed the captives and rose to triumph over his foes. The power of this Christian storytelling event is perhaps best expressed by the lyrics of one of its songs: “What kind of Love is writing my story to the end?” It is the same One who spoke the worlds into existence, the same One who walked on water, the same One who laid down his life and took it up again, the same One who conquered Satan, fear, sin, death, and hell. It perhaps can’t be said better than the way John puts it to his student, Asher: “Jesus won!”
It is clearly the purpose of the creative team behind this work to joyfully declare the full Gospel to the world. Creator and Producer John Bolin’s illustrated sermon has come a long way and impacted many lives for the Gospel. Movieguide® urges caution for older children, however, because of the violence during the Passion and Crucifixion and scenes of spiritual battle between angels and demons in THE THORN.
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