Left Behind: The Movie Movie Review

Based on the best-selling novel, Left Behind is the latest in an assembly line of Evangelical thrillers from Cloud Ten Pictures. Considering the success of The Omega Code, there's a surprisingly large audience of zealots who dream of screening films with "spiritual value" nationwide. And apparently, all that hard work is paying off.

Let readers be warned in advance, if you're part of the camp which tries to catch the "so bad it's good" movies filmcritic.com cheerfully slams on a weekly basis (and I mean you, Battlefield Earth), do yourself a favor and avoid Left Behind. Even if your interest is akin to mine, approaching the entire affair as a postmodern joke, your contribution is paving the way for more of this generic, Bible-thumping crap. With this kind of marketing campaign, every dollar counts.

Having said that, I really wanted to enjoy Left Behind. The premise has all the makings of a crackerjack apocalyptic epic in the vein of Stephen King's The Stand crossed with The Omen. If handled right, this could have been the mainstream alternative to Michael Tolkin's chilling end-of-the-world melodrama, The Rapture.

On an international flight, half of the passengers vanish mid-air. This is not an isolated incident. Around the world, Christians have mysteriously disappeared without a trace. It seems the Book of Revelations has cracked wide open, and the newly departed are spared seven years of tribulation during the Antichrist's rise to global power. Those who have been left behind must struggle in the ultimate battle between good and evil, which will no doubt be further documented in the inevitable string of sequels.

Don't tell me that doesn't sound exciting, even to heathens such as myself.

My interest abruptly waned the moment a freshly scrubbed Kirk Cameron appears on the scene as opportunistic news correspondent Buck Williams. We're asked to buy Kirk Cameron as a hardcore journalist covering an international crisis in the Middle East? Named Buck Williams? When Buck places his camera in the middle "of the shit" as bombs burst in midair, it's difficult to shake the thought that this pathetic former star hasn't aged a day since Growing Pains. His behavior, his goofy smile, his curly locks of hair are all exactly the same. I guess some things never change, even after you're Born Again.

Buck pursues a conspiracy that goes all the way to the United Nations. Will he be able to warn idealistic scientist Chaim Rosenzweig (Colin Fox) that his "Eden formula" which could end world hunger may land in the wrong hands? Sure enough, there's a missing disk, a car explosion, an attempted assassination, and shifty men in black who plot Armageddon. These familiar genre requirements are as lifeless as they are predictable, shot with all the bland mushiness of late night cable television.

Indeed, Left Behind could easily be confused with less ambitious fare were it not for the preachy subplot involving the tormented pilot (Brad Johnson) of that ill-fated international flight mentioned earlier. When his wife and son disappear in the Rapture, he falls to his knees begging forgiveness. If only he had listened when Jesus was knocking on the door to his heart. It's not long before Buck joins him as a soldier in God's Army.

After the end credits scroll on Left Behind's home video release, Kirk Cameron provides a public service announcement encouraging viewers to tell everyone they know to see this movie. My only request for the Christians who happen upon this article: Don't settle for less. Go to the Left Behind website and demand quality scripts which address your theological concerns.

Of course, the built-in audience will see these movies whether or not they receive a critical bitch slap. After an initial release on video to spread word of mouth, Left Behind has found its way into the 20 top grossing theatrical releases during the week it opened nationwide. Let's hear it for the Almighty Buck.

Go Buck!

Cast & Crew

Director :

Producer : , , C. Robert Neutz,

Starring : , , , Clarence Gilyard Jr., ,


Comments

Left Behind: The Movie Rating

" Unbearable "

Rating: PG-13, 2000

Editors Recommendations

No, AC/DC Are Not Splitting Up After All. Probably.

It looks like AC/DC fans can breathe a sigh of relief, because rumors of the band’s...

No, AC/DC Are Not Splitting Up After All. Probably.

Allergic Reaction To Blame For Miley Cyrus' Cancelled Tuesday Gig

Miley Cyrus has had it rough this week, as the star has been hospitalized for a severe allergic...

Allergic Reaction To Blame For Miley Cyrus' Cancelled Tuesday Gig

'Transcendence': Negative Reviews For Johnny Depp's 'Lone Ranger' Comeback

‘Transcendence’ is a stern Springtime test for Johnny Depp; the 50-year-old actor mooted...

'Transcendence': Negative Reviews For Johnny Depp's 'Lone Ranger' Comeback

Paul Walker's Brothers Brought In By Universal To Complete Late Actor's "Fast & Furious 7" Scenes

The team behind Fast & Furious 7 has come up with a untraditional solution to finish...

Paul Walker's Brothers Brought In By Universal To Complete Late Actor's

Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson On Joffrey, Screen Deaths And His Indefinite Retirement

Let’s get the spoiler alert out of the way first: if you haven’t seen Season 4 Episode 2...

Game of Thrones' Jack Gleeson On Joffrey, Screen Deaths And His Indefinite Retirement

Why Did Nobody Watch The 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere?

We're not sure what everyone was watching on Sunday night, but the season seven premiere...

Why Did Nobody Watch The 'Mad Men' Season 7 Premiere?

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

New television series Fargo premiered last night on FX, giving American audiences...

The Next 'Breaking Bad'? 'Fargo' Ep. 1 Is A Must-See [Video]

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

A member of the Lohan family has ran into trouble with the law, yet again...

Lindsay Lohan's Mother, Dina, Loses Driving Licence After Pleading Guilty To DUI

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers

“I did not kill my wife!” exclaims Ben Affleck in the first official trailer for David Fincher’s...

The First 'Gone Girl' Trailer is Weird And Different To Other Trailers


More recommendations