So I decided that I owed it to myself to watch the infamous trailer of the film that has caused all this trouble around the world. From news reports, I expected it to be poorly done but I had no idea that it would be such absolute dreck.
Really, it is incredibly bad. Unbelievably bad. So bad that it would embarrassing even to the proud parents of high school students who undertook it as part of an art project. The acting is atrocious, the script is laughable, and production values non-existent. For example, the green screen shots, used to create a backdrop of a desert, are so poorly done that the actors seem to be walking on air rather than on the sand.
It becomes obvious that at least some of the actors had no idea what they had got into. It is clear from the trailer that the script was sold to them as an adventure story about a greedy, ambitious, lustful, and bloodthirsty brigand leader living somewhere in the desert a long time ago, who is called ‘the master’. What the producers have done in post-production is take out some of the original words spoken by the actors and dub in references to Allah, Mohammed, and the Koran whenever necessary. It is so poorly done that not only do the words not match the lips, but even the voices are different, and the switches sometimes occur back and forth within a single sentence, making the fakery jarringly obvious.
For some inexplicable reason that is probably related to their general incompetence, rather than make the Mohammed character a swarthy villainous-looking character in keeping with their heavy-handed intent, the producers have chosen an actor who bears a striking resemblance to canonical depictions of Jesus. I’m surprised that easily offended Christians like Bill Donohue are not upset about their religious icon being hijacked to represent the founder of Islam.
So this short piece of trashy filmmaking, which should have died in well-deserved obscurity and for which the proper response should have been hoots of derision if anyone bothered to watch it at all, is all that it takes to incite people to riot and cause an international crisis.
If that is not a sad reflection on how easily religious people can be riled up, I don’t know what is.