Culture

Film Critic Tells Fans Why He Won't Review 'War Room'

John Campea labors as the senior producer of Collider Video and headlines the daily webcast Collider Movie Talk. Each week, at the start of the week, Campea and his crew break down the weekend box office and offer insight into what those numbers mean.

Since the release of War Room two weeks ago, the box office segments have been a little awkward. On Fridays, the crew predicts which films they believe will be in the top five. Nobody predicted War Room’s number-two opening weekend. In fact, no one on Collider Movie Talk thought War Room would be in the top five.

Tuesday’s box office segment was even more awkward, with War Room ascending to the number one spot in its second week, dethroning Straight Outta Compton. Watch above as the crew first sidesteps the film altogether, then hesitantly acknowledges it, and finally sprinkles in a fair amount of mockery.

Campea later took to his Facebook page to address his reluctance to review War Room:

Some people want to know why I don’t review the current #1 film at the box office WAR ROOM. Well it’s simple. I hate preachy movies. I especially hate movies that preach religious points of view at me. I don’t care if it’s a Christian religious point of view or an Atheist religious point of view. Now, I’m not saying other people shouldn’t enjoy their Christian/Atheist propaganda movies. I celebrate those movies are out there for them to enjoy if that is what they indeed enjoy. Awesome! But it’s not for me. So what would be the point in me reviewing said movies if:

1) I know I’m not going to like them

2) If I don’t like it and give it a negative review, I’ll just be opening myself up to some religious people (a minority of them, most religious people are just great) attacking my review and calling me names and accusing me of being anti-religious (even though what they don’t realize is that I went to Bible College).

So basically, if you ask me why I don’t review WAR ROOM, my answer would simply be “what would be the point?”

He later added in a follow-up post:

If you’re wondering why I don’t review WAR ROOM, just look at the comments in the [previous post]. All that reaction just from me saying I wasn’t reviewing the film. Can you imagine how much hatred would be unleashed if I did review the movie and gave it a negative review? No thanks. The problem is, if there is a movie that (regardless of how good or bad it is) promotes the beliefs of someone, and then you say that movie isn’t good… then that person will act as if you are attacking their beliefs the movie promotes instead of just saying it was a bad movie. It is a no win situation, and thus a game I refuse to play.

Scanning over the comments from the original post, most of them seem either supportive of Campea’s stance or respectfully critical of his reasoning.

Plenty of films are preachy, but happen to preach politically correct (cultural Marxist) messages. Consider films like Elysium with its heavy-handed immigration themes, or Brokeback Mountain’s clear social agenda. A forthcoming film called The Danish Girl stars Eddie Redmayne as a transsexual, and looks primed to promote transgenderism. Are those films too “preachy” for Campea to comment on?

Two Hot Flicks Feature Black Leads, But #2 ‘War Room’ Out-Shocks ‘Compton’