Six: The Mark Unleashed

Dir: Kevin Downes
Star: David White, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Stephen Baldwin, Kevin Downes

Despite being no Christian, I'm a sucker for movies based on the Book of Revelations, though few stand up to secular criticism. Put bluntly, you either buy into them, or you don't: I suspend my disbelief and go with it, just as for zombies, wire-fu or aliens. Here, the US (and by implication, the whole world) has been taken over by a dictator who uses implanted chips to control the population: those who refuse are arrested and, if they still decline, beheaded. One inmate (Morgan) has been tortured into agreeing to hunt down the apparent leader of the renegade Christians...though perhaps the truth is not what it seems.

While extremely Xian-friendly, and often painfully earnest, it makes one wise move: central character Brody (White, the spitting image of Luke Wilson), is a non-believer. I kept expecting a conversion, but he stayed a sceptic to the end, which wasn't as cloyingly obvious as expected. I still have a philosophical beef with a religion whose adherents go meekly to death, compliant with evil rather than actively fighting it. But at least the film isn't blind to the logical problems of faith (at one point God is compared to the dictator) and, I note, offers no proof they're actually right. For us agnostics, this remains a mildly credible, fairly chilling vision of a possible dystopian future - even if, in reality, it's more likely to be run by Christians like George Dubya, rather than targetting them.

February 2005

Mark-ing time
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