The Second Coming Movie Review
It's not quite that simple. In The Second Coming, Christopher Eccleston is a garden-variety drunk named Steve who disappears for 40 days, then reappears and announces himself to be the Second Coming of Christ. Is he crazy? Well, he tosses off a few miracles: turning night into day over the local soccer stadium and later surviving a bomb that goes off right next to him. He also announces that Armageddon will arrive in five days if he is not presented with a "Third Testament." (Exactly what this Third Testament is supposed to be remains a mystery throughout the film -- even to Steve -- and stands as one of the more perplexingly weak facets of the movie.) Hysteria ensues, though fortunately it seems confined to England.
Originally a UK miniseries, The Second Coming raises some interesting questions about what Jesus's return to earth might be like, but it's nothing we haven't seen in other movies about the end of the world. Eccleston tosses off a subtle and engaging performance, but his friends are all dopes; the film hits bottom when Jesus 2.0 has a love affair with Judith (Lesley Sharp), who looks to be about 20 years older than him. It's a little creepy, and frankly it's behavior unbecoming of the son of God.
It's also too bad that The Second Coming is too long, clocking in at about 155 minutes. The last half of the film -- when things really ought to be heating up as the apocalypse approaches -- are as boring as your typical Sunday sermon. The end of the world had better be a lot more exciting than it's made out to be in this movie.
Still, the movie has enough redeeming qualities -- and it looks fairly good despite its low budget -- to make it worthwhile to Bible heads and Armageddon obsessives.
The DVD adds half an hour of deleted scenes, commentary from the writer and directo, and a handful of outtakes.