Let There Be Light (2017 film)
|Let There Be Light|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kevin Sorbo|
|Music by||Marc Vanocur|
|Edited by||Peter Devaney Flanagan|
|Distributed by||Atlas Distribution Company|
|Box office||$7.2 million|
Let There Be Light is a 2017 American Christian drama directed by and starring Kevin Sorbo and written by Dan Gordon and Sam Sorbo. The plot follows an atheist who goes through a near-death experience in an auto accident and converts to Christianity. Sean Hannity executive produced and appears in the film. Dionne Warwick and Travis Tritt also have roles in the film. It was released in the United States on October 27, 2017.
Outspoken atheist Dr. Sol Harkens is having a debate with a Christian leader. After Harkens is considered to have won the debate, he attends a party for his book. He double-fists cocktails while trying to get his girlfriend to come home with him that night; she refuses. Disappointed, Harkens heads home in a drunken haze to sleep it off. On the way home, his publicist calls him to arrange more parties to increase his exposure. Since he was already drunk after leaving his party and continues to drink on the way home, he veers off the road and crashes into a construction site.
Suddenly surrounded by a carnival-like light tunnel, he sees hallucinations of his young son David, who died a few years earlier from cancer. His son enthusiastically claims that he is all right and that Sol should let God's love fill him, proclaiming "Let there be light!" as Dr. Harkens comes out of unconsciousness. After being clinically dead for 4 minutes, he awakens to find his Christian ex-wife Katy at his side, and tells her that he saw their son. His doctor diagnoses his visions as merely adrenal brain surges that are caused by traumatic moments.
Harkens continues to struggle with his crisis of science versus faith. After Katy shows up at his house to check on him, he decides to go and talk to pastor and former mob member Vinny at a church. After hearing the Resurrection story, he has an epiphany and is baptized again as a believing Christian. After several visits from his ex-wife, he decides to rekindle their relationship so they can be a family again with their two surviving sons. He proposes and she accepts, but almost immediately they learn that she has cancer and is past the point of treatment.
Fox News' Sean Hannity hears of Dr. Harkens' story and asks him to come onto his program because he considers his story of great merit. Harkens announces a campaign of world peace called the "Let There Be Light" campaign. He believes that if everyone in the world shines their lights to the sky at night that it could be a bolster to world unity. During the night of the event the simultaneous action of the world shining their light to the heavens is visible from space. Meanwhile back home, the newly-remarried Harkens are having a night of family time singing Christmas songs outside when Katy suddenly dies in Sol's arms.
- Kevin Sorbo as Dr. Sol Harkens
- Sam Sorbo as Katy Harkens
- Braeden Sorbo as Gus Harkens
- Daniel Roebuck as Norm
- Donielle Artese as Tracee
- Gary Grubbs as Dr. Fornier
- Travis Tritt as Dr. Corey
- Joe Herrera as Dr. Shell
- Leander Suleiman as Dr. Patel
- Walnette Marie Santiago as Cat Ryerson
- Olivia Fox as Vanessa
- Dionne Warwick as Herself
- Mona Amein as Sally
- Sherri Eakin as Waitress
- Michael Franzese as Pastor Vinny
- Sean Hannity as Himself
The film was released in the United States on October 27, 2017. Over its opening weekend the film made $1.9 million from 373 theaters (a per-theater average of $5,071), finishing 11th at the box office. In its second weekend the film was added to 269 theaters and dropped just 1.9% to $1.7 million, finishing 10th at the box office.
This article may be unbalanced towards certain viewpoints. (July 2020)
On review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 30% based on 6 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. Some reviewers question the accuracy of the film's claims and claim the characters in the film are strawmen. Dan Piepenbring, writing for the New Yorker, described the film as "a cynical, xenophobic morality tale, as bitter as it is saccharine."  Conversely, the film has also been cited as a "warm redemption tale" that is "above-average for the [Christian film] genre". Adam R. Holz, writing for Christian review site, pluggedin.com, spoke with Kevin Sorbo about the movie, and how a dramatic life-or-death situation sparked a spiritual renewal of faith in his own life. “In 1997, I certainly had a big shift in my life. At the end of Season 5 of Hercules, I had an aneurysm in my left shoulder that exploded into my body and sent hundreds of clots down into my left arm, which almost had to be amputated. But three clots went into my brain, and I suffered three strokes. … I’ve always had faith, I’ve always been a Christian, I’ve always been a guy who believed. But I never really needed faith until this really happened to me.” Holz writes, "Some might watch a movie like this and say, "That never happens." But Kevin Sorbo's own story suggests otherwise. ...For moviegoers looking for a hopeful, unabashedly faith-focused alternative to movies mired in grim narratives and riddled with explicit content, Let there be Light illuminates a more redemptive narrative path." 
- Tom Trento, interviewer (October 25, 2017). "DAN GORDON INTERVIEW - SCREENWRITER - "LET THERE BE LIGHT"". YouTube channel The United West. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- "Let There be Light (2017)". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved December 20, 2017.
- Judge, Mark (August 30, 2016). "'Let There Be Light': Upcoming Kevin Sorbo Film on Conversion of 'World's Greatest Atheist". CNSNews.com. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
- Goldstein, Gary (October 27, 2017). "Review: Sean Hannity and Kevin Sorbo join forces in the Christian reckoning drama 'Let There Be Light'". Los Angeles Times. Tronc. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- Harvey, Dennis (October 23, 2017). "Film Review: 'Let There Be Light'". Variety. Penske Media Corporation. Retrieved October 27, 2017.
- Brian Brooks. "The Square' Runs Circles Over Most Openers; Weinstein's 'Amityville' Bombs – Specialty Box Office". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved October 29, 2017.
- Anthony D'Alessandro. "'Thor: Ragnarok' Flexes His Box Office Muscles To $120M-$122M Opening – Early Sunday AM Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved November 5, 2017.
- "Let There Be Light (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved March 14, 2018.
- Piepenbring, Dan. "Sean Hannity and Kevin Sorbo's "Let There Be Light" Is Pious, Xenophobic Fun for the Whole Family". The New Yorker. Retrieved 28 June 2020.
- https://variety.com/2017/film/reviews/let-there-be-light-review-1202593888. Missing or empty
- https://www.hollywoodintoto.com/let-there-be-light-review-2017/. Missing or empty
- Holz, Adam. "Let there be light". Focus on the Family's Plugged In. Retrieved 3 October 2020.