This movie is as big of a mess as the original but at least we get to see a crazy-looking Nicolas Cage changing into the good Christian he was always meant to be. The worst thing about these movies to me is that fact that I find the aftermath of everyone disappearing far more interesting than the actual event. It reminds me of all the Superman/Batman/Spiderman movies. Every time they reboot them they have to retell you the origin so you never get past the beginning and into the juicy stuff. I have no clue if they will make another one of these but if they do and it makes it to Netflix I’ll watch it for sure!
So I’m sure you know the premise of Left Behind, right? The rapture happens. And before we move on any further, let’s just think about that for a second.
Left Behind is supposed to give you this feeling that non-Christians know at some point that, if Christianity is correct, the rapture will occur, causing all believers to disappear to hang out with God and avoid his wrath. Except in the real world, no one knows any details about this, even among Christians. The kind of rapture they’re even talking about (where some people are left behind) didn’t even really come about until like 200 years ago. And yet the left behind characters in Left Behind keep talking about how they just should have listened to their Christian friends/family members, that the Christians were right, they predicted this exactly, etc etc. Um, no. This is a world in which Christianity is the same across the board, and also I guess a world in which the Bible goes into great detail about this rapture. So really, Left Behind is almost beyond fantasy because even the idea of Christianity this movie has is not real.
So now that we’ve established that the people behind Left Behind don’t even understand the concept of the rapture (or possibly even Christianity itself), that doesn’t leave much room for any of the movie to be any kind of good. Nicolas Cage and his absolutely terrible hair play Rayford Steele, which is a name that also lends itself to this being a fantasy. Ray is a pilot married to Irene (Lea Thompson), a born-again Christian. They have a daugher, Chloe (Cassi Thomson) and neither Ray or Chloe consider themselves Christian. But Irene seems prettyyyy insane and definitely annoying, so you can see why they’re turned off by it. Cassi flies home to surprise Ray on his birthday but gets a phone call from Irene telling her that Ray was called to a last minute flight to London. Now, why Irene was not at the airport to pick up Cassi is beyond me. Cassi decides to hang around the airport to try and catch Ray, whom she sees flirting with a flight attendant and not wearing a wedding ring. While there Cassi runs into Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) an apparently super famous journalist (because there are so many of those). It’s somehow love at first sight (basically) between Cassi and Buck, but alas Buck boards Ray’s flight to London.
Cassi goes back home then takes her little brother to the mall. While she’s hugging him a flash of light appears and he disappears, leaving his clothes and backpack and everything else. The same thing happens to people all around Cassi and in about 2 minutes the entire mall devolves into total chaos, complete with looting and violence. Now, I understand that something like this would cause a panic on a huge scale, but would people turn into crazy animals that quickly? I think everyone would be too caught up in what the hell just happened to think about looting, but who knows. Anyway, people everywhere disappear, including on Ray’s plane. At first no one knows what’s up until gradually people start saying what I was talking about before, shit like “This is exactly what Mom described” as if there is a Left Behind-rapture scene in the Bible. Eventually Ray safely lands the plane and is reunited with Cassi (who is also reunited with her apparently new boyfriend, Buck). THE END! Except not really, since I guess we can expect the apocolypse next.
Besides everything I already mentioned about the rapture, and the insanely terrible acting and pace of the movie, I also had a huge problem with the way Cassi’s character is portrayed. She’s skeptical of religion, but she clearly loves her family (she’s frustrated with her mom, yes, but you never get the feeling that she doesn’t love her) and seems to be a decent, responsible person. And yet, not good enough for God. I feel like Cassi’s skepticism, as opposed to outright 100% athiesm, should be enough for God to have some wiggle room. But nope! I guess all these Christians who so perfectly described this rapture failed to mention that only born-again Christians get to hang out with God – everyone else is fucked.
I mean, of course this movie is bad, but you knew that right? It’s actually not as bad as the terrible Kirk Cameron version from 2000 if for no other reason than the production is slightly better. But this movie is unbeliveably terrible and I would hope anyone going into this would expect nothing less. Just look at this fucking poster: