Film Review: ‘Left Behind’ Has No Hope of Deliverance

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Average: 5 (2 votes)

CHICAGO – Onscreen, Nicolas Cage is more sinner than saint these days. And he’ll need a whole month’s worth of Hail Marys to atone for this latest cinematic scourge upon the multiplex. While the promise of late career Cage in an apocalyptic Christian rapture thriller has hope, “Left Behind” has something to leave both bad movie aficionados and the Christian faithful sorely disappointed. Oscarman rating: 1.0/5.0
Rating: 1.0/5.0

The end times have a seemingly endless fascination for a certain devoted section of the Evangelical Christian populace, but it brings out the worst in the faithful filmmakers that try to tackle it. Instead of genuine suspense, we get ham-fisted preachiness. Growing up, and attending Bible summer camp, I watched a 1970’s rapture flick called “A Thief In The Night.” That ramped up the over-the-top hysterics to 11. A little hysterics would have been welcome here.

This is actually the second try at rebooting the inexplicably popular book series. The 2001 version boasted proudly of Kirk Cameron’s drawing power, and launched several direct-to-video sequels. Producers were unhappy with the bargain basement look and wanted to make a bigger budgeted conventional Hollywood production. This film aims to be a high octane action movie, but it’s positively sleepy at times.

It supposedly cost 15 million dollars to make, but precious little of it made it onscreen. Presumably much of it went into the pocket of Cage, who plays Captain Rayford Steele. He’s an airline pilot whose marriage has turned frosty ever since his wife (Lea Thompson) found God. He gets to say things like “if she’s going to run off with another man it might as well be Jesus,” as he ditches his own family for a clandestine getaway with an attractive flight attendant and a U2 concert in London. Meanwhile, his unbelieving daughter Chloe (Cassie Thomson) spends her time getting into arguments with Christians she randomly meets in the airport.

“Left Behind” opens everywhere October 3rd.  Featuring Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassie Thomson, Lea Thompson, and Jordin Sparks. Written by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. Directed by Vic Armstrong. Rated “PG-13”

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “Left Behind”

Nicolas Cage
In the Cage: Nicolas Cage in ‘Left Behind’
Photo credit: Freestyle Releasing

StarContinue reading for Spike Walters’ full review of “Left Behind”

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