The good part about remaking an awful movie is there’s no where to go but up. Right?
“Left Behind” is the second attempt at making a movie based on the “Left Behind” novels which highlight two mens interpretation of Christian end times theology and what would happen to the world if all of the Christian’s vanished from the planet at the same time. I mean, other than we would have quite a few less cheesy, heavy handed message movies in theaters, of course. Sorry, that one was too easy to pass up. Nicolas Cage stars as a pilot dealing with disappearances on his plane while his daughter deals with the impact of the rapture down on God’s green earth. And both of them deal with the ramifications that come from remaking a Kirk Cameron Christian movie made over a decade ago. Although I have to say, to those I hear saying this is somehow worse than the first one, have you seen the first one? like recently? This one is leaps and bounds better, and yet somehow still thoroughly awful.
I mean a couple of the performances aren’t all that bad, Chad Michael Murray does alright, and Nic Cage for all his inconsistency, actually seems to pull this one off quite nicely. Also, there is some solid action in the last 20 minutes of the movie that used some fairly convincing special effects. I mean it’s a silly, ridiculous, and unnecessary action climax, but at least it kinda looks real, right?
Look, overall this movie gets just about everything else wrong. Forget the now Christian cliche of the underproduced yet overbearing musical score. Forget the fact that the secondary acting is like watching a grade school play. Even forget that that thing where they take a pretty interesting concept, you know, the rapture, and hit you over the head with a sermon instead of a story. Forget all that, the worst thing about this movie is it’s simply boring. The movie takes way too long to get to the place where all the good people disappear, and then drags that moment out for the rest of the movie even while somehow missing all the interesting parts of it. Plus, even as heavy handed as the message can be in this, the themes actually make no sense in relation to the focus of the story. If the movie wanted to tell the story about a father and daughter’s emotional separation and reunification than maybe that climax makes sense, but what does any of this have to do with the big event that’s sending the world into chaos anyway? It’s a jumbled mess of story and execution that fails on just about every level. Which of course just means we just have to hope they get it right when they try again in 15 more years.
At the end of the day, Left Behind is a second swing and miss on translating the best selling novel to the big screen. Even with an academy award winner in the pilot’s seat, it crash lands with a D+