For Fans Only
Snoogans - wrote on 09/18/16
'Hillsong: Let Hope Rise' is a documentary/concert movie covering the (apparently) popular Australian church band, whom have climbed up to rock arena status over their long run. Coming from the evangelical Christian production company 'Pure Flix', I was already dreading this film, as all of their output could be labeled as 'Pure Crap'. To my surprise, 'Hillsong' is actually well made for it's niche genre. This stands on par (production wise) with past concert/doc flicks. We get an ample amount of time devoted to the humble beginnings and decade's long history of the band. Each member's home life is highlighted, along with their personal stance on their beliefs and how they coincide with the band. We see necessary touring, preparation, and even a segment focusing on songwriting. All of this is edited very well against the main live performance. The band talks extensively during the songwriting process about how they push themselves to be more creative musically and lyrically. However, this doesn't show in their performance due to the fact that all of their new songs sound exactly the same to one another and still hold little difference with their previous output. Being a music fan, I didn't find anything memorable at all about their song styling. The preachy sermon-like lyrics grow very tiresome, especially when they sound just like every other similar Christian band I've ever heard. That said, this group is talented and they each offer passion for their work. The film as a whole isn't nearly as agenda driven as I would've thought. It's meant to be as accessible as possible to a wider audience while staying true to itself. The only drawback to this effort is the fact that the band's material only speaks to a very specific demographic, and if you're not part of that then there's really no need to ever watch this.