Joshua Wesely is an asshole.
I hesitate to refer to films like 2025 as Christian propaganda, because the movies have basically nothing to do with Christianity. It’s essentially masturbation material for bitter assholes who live so comfortably that they start to get jealous at the fact that nobody is actually oppressing them. 2025: The World Enslaved By A Virus is a film that you already know what the plot is going to be from the moment I mention the name. In case it still isn’t obvious, the film kicks off with a set of slides explaining that in the five years since the Covid outbreak, the world has unified into one government, communism is rampant, gathering and travel is illegal, and Christianity especially is outlawed to the extent that merely possessing a bible is considered high treason with the punishment of execution.
Here’s the problem with guys like director/screenwriter/star/fired barista Josh Wesely; he’s just the right combination of mean and stupid to make a film like this. I’d like to apologize regarding my comments about the film Host becoming very quickly outdated. At least that film exists as a sign of its time. Wesely complains that in 2025 it’s illegal to eat at restaurants, a thing that was already happening by the time this movie hit digital shelves. The guy basically didn’t get his reservation at Weinholf’s House of Schnitzel and decided to make a whole tantrum film about it.
The things Wesely whines about in his opening monologue about how life used to be is very telling not just about him as a real person but the audience this movie is pandering to. Wesely complains to the police officer about how there was a time when we could eat with friends at restaurants, go to the movies, see a concert, and celebrate what we want, when we want. Oh and we could have our favorite ice cream, that gets his nuts tingled. Notice the things he doesn’t care about to even reference. A real devoted Christian might worry about, say, the soup kitchens and homeless shelters that shut down, some of which never opened up again after the height of the pandemic. Or the families who were unable to say goodbye in person to their dying loved ones because of the strict visitation at hospitals. How about the mere community support systems that churches provide to the elderly. Or the concern about the decline of mental health during long periods of isolation at home. I guess that would require thinking about other people. At seemingly no point is Wesely actually concerned about this overt lockdown’s impact on people’s ability to do good things for each other. Just how he can’t have a beer at the pub.
My favorite part about Christian persecution complex films is how efficient the government is in cracking down and going into full global authoritarian commie fascist Nazi mode. Five years in this case. The town I lived in passed an ordinance about garbage collection seven years ago and with all the red tape it still hasn’t gone into effect. In the minds of the paranoid persecution fetishists the global cabal of Jewish atheist shadow overlords are basically at any point ready to start the global holocaust of specifically Christians, they’re just waiting for the day they get to push the button.
The irony of the movie is that it’s so wrapped up in ideology that it doesn’t realize how meanly written its characters are. They’re all self-absorbed elitists who huff their own farts and when they aren’t reminiscing about how things used to be, they’re busy shitting on friends or family for not being as smart and enlightened as they are. Every other conversation is about how they tried to enlighten someone and they didn’t want to listen. Yeah there’s Christians, but nobody is as Christian as they are. Nobody loves Jesus as much as they do, which is why Josh and his trio describe themselves as the only Christians left on Earth at this point while everyone else either gave up or was killed. Including the entire church leadership I guess. Five years later.
The duo meets a marine pretty early on who explains that he left the marines because they made him swear on the new constitution and he “only swears to God.” My brother in Christ, you literally swore to the old constitution when you joined the Marines. So Marine guy had no problem giving up his individuality, actually giving up many of his constitutional rights to become GI, and following orders to carry out extra-judicial killings on foreigners in sovereign countries, but this is where he draws the line and flees to Germany. I doubt this man’s Marine credentials, as at no point during the film do I see him eating a casserole made of crayons. Josh Wesely is a youth pastor who never held a real job, so I don’t blame him for not understanding how the Marines or any facet of real life works.
Every actor in this movie is a talentless hack, and I say doubly for Joshua Wesely. It’s very obvious that all of the dialogue is improvised, a bad thing since the actors can’t keep a thought or a sentence flowing smoothly and many of them barely seem able to speak English. At one point the marine cracks a joke; “What did Corona do to Jesus? Nothing!” A joke that only could’ve made me laugh if Jesus girl farted right after. I think this is the only direct reference to Coronavirus in the film, while the rest of it dances around the virus name. I could be wrong, my brain is purging memories of this movie already.
The film goes on as Wesely and his crew spread the teachings of Jesus. An intelligent director might have used this opportunity to promote the virtues of Christianity by showing a montage of underground groups doing stuff like setting up illegal soup kitchens, the police raiding unauthorized homeless shelters, people performing burial rights at funerals or marriage ceremonies that are now illegal in this communist world and using the word of God to comfort the families of the dead. And every time they do this, you see outsiders noticing the fish symbol and it shows up in more places as the montage continues.
You can even be more lighthearted and have a scene where a family celebrates Christmas for the first time and they don’t really know what they’re doing, as we see the Christmas tree is very small and half dead. But it’s decorated with whatever they had on hand and they don’t have presents to give each other because of communism but it’s more about learning the tradition than the material goods and the family being together and happy. Maybe we see the family remove their masks in their own house, hesitant at first but then sharing the ability to see each other’s smiles. It’d be something that’s funny in a heartwarming way like when the kid shows up with a coffee can covered with a bow clearly made out of ripped t-shirt, and the dad opens it and it’s a pair of his used socks, but the two hug and laugh and then we see from the camera positioned right outside the window the family gathered around as mom reads out loud a crappy old copy of the bible they received illegally from Wesely, which we know he sent because it has the painted fish symbol on the back.
If you want a more heart-tugging scene that’s probably guaranteed to make people cry, might I suggest part of the montage showing say a police officer with his gun drawn confronting a group praying in a small room. He goes in clearly all full of hate and ready to lay down the beating, but then sees the cobbled together crucifix and it revives memories of his childhood going to church with his grandparents. We see a flashback where he watches the priest embrace his grandfather at what is clearly his grandmother’s funeral, and then cut forward to one of the church people embracing him the exact same was as an adult. Defeated and with a single visible tear stream rolling down his cheek, he leaves silently and we cut forward even more to him talking in a circle with the other officers in a dark storage room. Flash forward again to the secret church group and the door opens and all of them file in. They reach into their uniforms and we think it’s going to get violent only to reveal that they are all wearing cross necklaces. We then see a scene where a police officer confronts a group of people smuggling bibles, and he reveals he too has a cross necklace and lets them go.
Cue forward again to the Ministry of Killing Christians as the people running it are now in a full panic. Police are defecting all over the world, arrests are at historic lows, and confidence in the new world government is all but gone. Countries have lost faith in communism, the entirety of North America has successfully declared its independence without bloodshed after the now President initiated protocols and aimed nuclear ICBMs at the heart of the world government, ejected all of its representatives, and pulled all of its armed forces home leaving them basically powerless to stop the other nations quickly beginning to follow suit. We cut to America where Marine guy is being sworn back in under the new government, with the ceremony audio muffled right up until the part about “one nation under God.”
Not only has the movement revived Christianity, it has blossomed the whole world’s religious community into full fervor. We see Buddhists in India silently protesting in massive groups with obvious police in the crowd having joined them. Synagogues and Mosques reappear and at this point the grunt-level police officers have long since stopped doing anything about it. You could show a couple officers walk past a blatant mosque, look at each other, and keep on walking. The new world government is forced to declare its efforts a complete wash after numerous failed attempts to quell violent religious revolutions in the middle east and South America. It sounds like a lot of time to devote, but the film is mostly filler anyway.
That’s what a smart director would have done, or at least one who cares about using this film to actually promote Christianity as a good thing. But Josh is a youth pastor, meaning he’s like a diet Christian. The summer camp counselor of Christians. He’s here to sing songs, meet his future wife when she’s 14, and hang out with his clique at restaurants, concerts, and at the movies. Notice again how selfish all of his “life was better before Covid” complaints are. The charity work is secondary to letting people know how holy and thus superior he is because he can recite sections of the bible without actually following or understanding them. And I can say that because I’ve been a minister for over six years and I’m pretty sure that outranks youth pastor.
The film ends with Josh’s martyrdom fetish on display as he is captured and executed by the government as it rolls to credits. Once again it’s all about him. This isn’t a film about promoting Christianity, it’s an ego trip for Josh Wesely possibly so he can brag to his teenage girlfriend about how he’s a hotshot film director/star. 2025: A World Enslaved By A Virus is blasphemous and as a minister I find it brutally offensive to the church and faith, as Wesely portrays himself less as a servant of Jesus than as Jesus himself. It boils down Christianity to reading the bible and singing, rather than doing any actual good deeds. It actually spends less time defaming non-Christians than it does going on the offensive against other Christians for not being as holy and not loving God as much as Josh does, including repeated digs at the church as effectively being traitors who give up their religion at the first sign of hardship.
And for anyone wondering why I would monetarily support such a contemptible asshole, I’d like to point out that it’s a meager $2 to rent this film in standard definition. Also I pirated it. The choices for good religious films are slim and probably mostly found on the Hallmark channel. If you want a really good film where people do good deeds and the message is overall about hope, I recommend checking out Where Hope Grows.