Good vs. evil. The theme is as old as time. And with good reason, since the epic battle between good and evil has been part of the human story since the very beginning. So it’s no surprise that the theme has staying power and box office appeal in every film genre across the spectrum. Whether its drama, action, comedy, sci-fi or animation, modern day moviemakers find good vs. evil a perpetually intriguing and lucrative movie theme.
This year’s top grossing box office hits are no exception to the rule. The whole good vs. evil theme dominated the top six mega-hits of 2008, bringing in a combined total of over $1.8 billion:
- The Dark Knight – $530,540,885
- Iron Man – $318,298,180
- Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull – $317,011,114
- Hancock – $227,946,274
- Wall-e – $ 223,704,223
- Kung Fu Panda – $215,395,021
All six of these films are now out on DVD, making it easy for you to plan an intentional evening of movie watching with your friends. So pick out your favorite movie of the year, break out the popcorn and enjoy! Then as the credits roll, jump in and start the conversation. Be intentional about looking for opportunities to use the movie as a springboard to talk about spiritual things. Here are some conversation starters to get you moving in the right direction:
- The Dark Knight. This epic battle of good vs. evil topped the year’s movies. Heath Ledger’s untimely death adds a particularly tragic element to this movie watching experience. Find out from your friends what they think happens after we die? Share what you believe about the afterlife. Does the world ever feel overwhelming or sinister to you? Share the Good News of hope and Jesus’ free gift of eternal life with your friends.
- Iron Man. Do you think it would be cool to have superhuman strength and impenetrable armor? Ask your friends if they believe there is an unseen spiritual battle raging around us like. Share what you believe about the forces of good and evil in the universe. Share what the Bible has to say about the armor of God described in Ephesians 6.
- Indiana Jones and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Indiana Jones is striving to save humanity from destruction – this hero role in stories and films is sometimes known as a ‘messianic’ role. Ask your friends if they know the story of the real Messiah who came to earth, battled evil and rescued a planet from spiritual destruction. Share what you believe about the cosmic battle of epic proportions being waged in the spiritual realm.
- Hancock. Flawed superhero Hancock’s battles are more personal than cosmic. Most of us know someone who wrestles with self-destructive or addictive behaviors. Do you think an image makeover is the best way to deal with those kinds of issues? Ask your friends what they think about Jesus’ approach to a ‘soul makeover’ rather than an ‘image makeover.’ Explain how Jesus saved some of His harshest words for those who were acting like hypocrites who only cared about their outward appearance. Share how Jesus’ message of inner transformation through His grace and forgiveness can save us from being hypocrites who are only concerned with what appears on the outside.
- Wall-e. It appears that even robots long for meaningful relationships and want to see good win out over evil. What do you do when you’re feeling lonely? Do you have a deep relationship with someone you can always depend upon? Explain how Jesus is that someone in your life! Share the Good News that Jesus came to forgive our sins, save humankind and make a restored relationship with God possible.
- Kung Fu Panda. ‘The One’ or ‘The Chosen One’ who battles against evil is a theme that’s appeared in many movies and TV shows. (i.e., Neo in The Matrix, Anakin Skywalker in Star Wars, Buffy Summers in Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Homer Simpson in the episode “Homer the Great,” Jet Li in The One.) Why do you think ‘The Chosen One’ triumphing over evil is such a recurring theme in so many stories? Share what you believe about Jesus being “The Real Chosen One’ and the Savior of the world.
Take the initiative! Purposefully and prayerfully plan a movie night around one of your favorite hits of the year and invite your friends who need Jesus. Be prepared to initiate some God-talk after the movie’s storyline unfolds and watch for those God-given opportunities to share the best story of all – the story of Jesus free gift of salvation!
Jane Dratz serves as Editor for Dare 2 Share Ministries International (D2S) in Arvada, Colorado, a ministry committed to energizing and equipping teenagers to know, live, share and own their faith in Jesus. For more information about D2S, please visit www.dare2share.org.