Who's in It:
Hilary Swank, David Morrissey, Idris Elba, Stephen Rea, AnnaSophia Robb
The Basics: First, you got some plagues. Rivers of blood, frogs raining down, that sort of thing. Then you got some spooky Hee Haw Christians. Then you got an ex-missionary-turned-atheist-college-professor-scientist-myth-buster who managed to accomplish that amount of career upward-mobility in the five short, mournful years since God allegedly murdered her husband and kid. Then, finally, you got a budget-Dakota Fanning devil-child who may need to be slaughtered to save the entire state of Louisiana from even more devastation that the federal government won't bail them out of. It must suck to live there.
What's the Deal? I was excited when I first saw the incredible series of plague-themed billboards for this hybrid, rotten-hilarious movie and the perfect tagline "What hath God wrought?" (Because, really, when do you see Hollywood trotting out vocabulary words like wrought these days?) I was excited because I assumed that some bold studio had decided to make God their serial killer of choice. But then, in the middle of all the laff-riot-inducing antics (very loud dead-frog rainstorm, exploding priests, chanting-voices-of-evil soundtrack), I realized that it was all an annoying trick. I won't get spoiler-y, but I will say that this could have been written and directed by Pat Robertson for all the bending over backwards it does not to implicate anyone but El Diablo.
Best Plagues, in Order of How "Metal" They Are: River of Blood is by far No. 1, even better than Mass Death of First-Born Children, which is a close second. Then I like Festering Boils because they're gnarly. Then Rain of Frogs and then Rain of Locusts because they're bugs, and bugs are nasty unless they're spiders who write cute things about pigs in webs. Tied for last is Lots of Lightning, Lots of Nighttime and Lots of Head Lice. Because those happen all the time and aren't even really plagues.
Default Position: What's great about movie atheists is that they never arrive at atheism because they're smart or have any sort of philosophical basis for their beliefs. It's all, "I'm just mad at God for ignoring me. ME!" And when you're two-time Oscar winner and A-list actress Hilary Swank and someone who presumes to be more awesome than you comes along that would be God, in this case it turns into a nonstop carnival of "Oh, yeah, well I'll show you, you so-called-almighty Almighty!"
Potential Razzie Award Hall of Famer: That would be British actor Morrissey, who mangles a Southern accent with glee and managed to find himself in the plague that was Basic Instinct 2.