Genre: Action / Sci-Fi
IMDB Rating: 3.1 / 10
A few days back as I was going through my recent reviews and feeling a sense of pride at how this little blog was coming along I was struck by a worrying trend: a lot of the things I was reviewing were things I had enjoyed. I read a fair number of blogs and it’s wonderful when you can tell that someone enjoyed the thing they’re writing about, but I’ll admit that it brings me a sadistic kind of joy when someone rants about something they utterly despised. I can’t expect other people to go out and review and delightfully condemn awful things if I’m not prepared to return the favour, and that’s how I came to watch Left Behind. It was a logical choice given that the universal consensus was that it’s a load of bollocks and I personally can’t stand Nicolas Cage, but I must say that in all the years that the Good Lord has chosen to keep me on this earth watching terrible movies I have never, ever come across a film that fails on every possible level quite as much as Left Behind does.
Chloe Steele has just flown into town to visit her family and to celebrate her dad Rayford’s birthday. Unfortunately Rayford, a pilot, can’t hang around for his birthday as he’s been called away to have an urgent affair with a dimwit airline hostess who, despite living in this sinful world of texting and tweeting and twerking, doesn’t seem to think that the man several decades her senior and with a grown-ass daughter and a prepubescent son might be married. Bloody box of rocks…
In a benevolent act by a generous God about to doom the majority of mankind to eternal torment, Chloe meets Buck Williams, an investigative reporter who doesn’t seem to be awfully good at investigating (or reporting, for that matter) but whose rugged charm would cause the knickers of a less chaste female to come flying off with the force of Lucifer himself falling to Earth. After a brief coffee and some small talk that will set them up for the rest of their doomed lives Chloe leaves to go home to see her much-loved little brother and recently-converted-to-Christianity bat-shit-crazy mother.
Things start to go a tad awry once Chloe and her brother, having sufficiently argued with the mother, make an escape to the mall. At this point God decides that now’s the time for the rapture and starts to take His chosen few (including Chloe’s brother and mother) to heaven. With people vanishing literally by the several chaos breaks out across the world as a very Connecticut, tea and sandwiches after the service, when did they let black people into the country club-style apocalypse starts to happen.
With Chloe and Rayford left behind the two will need to find a way to reunite with one another in this now-literally Godless world. It’s also up to Chloe to figure out a way to fabricate a runway so that Rayford can land his damn plane since air traffic controllers are apparently a very religious bunch.
Prepare yourself for the most underwhelming story ever told, recited in the most monotonous tone imaginable, in a movie that Satan is probably considering as a torture device for one of the circles in Hell.
This movie alleges to have had a $16 million budget. My guess is that 14 of those went to paying Mr Cage. $1 999 500 then went to paying the rest of the cast, crew and the tea trolley lady. The remaining $500 then went into things like hair, makeup, wardrobe and special effects.
That’s how I’m guessing you balance the money-to-visuals ratio. Let your imagination do with this information what it will.
Boredom with a hint of nausea.
The problem with Left Behind, quite frankly, is everything. On some level, I imagine, it’s meant to portray Christians as the good guys because it’s all about the rapture, but for the brief time we actually have Christians in the movie they’re portrayed as bible-bashing nut jobs, so I can’t say with any conviction what target audience we’re meant to be aiming for.
The “disaster” element of the movie is also very lacklustre. Given that when the Rapture happens only a baker’s dozen worth of adults vanish along with all the children (although I don’t think that a teenager is technically a child, especially by biblical standards), the rioting and mayhem that follow are completely out of proportion to what’s actually happened. Personally the rapture could happen tomorrow and given the friends I have it could be weeks before I noticed anything had happened.
My understanding of the rapture is also that once God takes the chosen into heaven all hell is meant to break out on Earth, but the none of that happens here. Most of Left Behind is just Nic Cage trying to land a plane with an angry midget and some Islamophobia thrown in for good measure. The idea that we should all accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour is kind of mixed in there, but not enough to convince me that that’s the actual point the audience is meant to take away from the film.
I couldn’t actually tell you what the hell it was that this movie was trying to get across to you. It’s like it wanted to climb up on a soap box and preach the good word but only managed to get one leg up. This leaves it preachy enough that you’ll raise an eyebrow at it, but not enough that you can actually engage with its subject matter. Add to that that the acting’s atrocious and there’s literally no action to be found and all you’re left with is Nic Cage’s one facial expression and two hours of your life that you aren’t going to get back.
My Final Rating: 1 / 10
Buy Left Behind at Amazon.com