Projections - Movie Reviews

Left Behind Left Behind: The Movie

For some reason Christian groups recently have been producing films that speak to the dark side of religion.  Left Behind has an interesting gimmick but its main message is the triumph of the anti-Christ over the people of the Earth rather than the positive good news.

Based on the novel by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron, the kid from the TV sitcom Growing Pains who has grown up) is a news reporter for the GNN television network. While on a flight he and other passengers discover that about half the people on the plane have disappeared including all the children.  We learn later that the same thing has happened on the ground.  In a world filled with empty baby carriages the people on Earth are ripe to be taken over.

Brad Johnson's Rayford Steele, an unhappy married man and airline pilot suddenly sheds his affair with a flight attendant (Chelsea Noble, Cameron's real life wife) and heads home only to find his wife has assented to heaven and his alienated daughter is the only family member remaining.  He works with Buck Williams and they learn through a secret data disk that powerful business interests are planning to foreclose on the United Nations which will yield them ten pieces of land in various parts of the world.

At that point the plot collapses and we are expected to believe without the US President (he must have been pure to be carried to heaven with the innocent kids) America can not govern itself.  The authors should have read the succession process for the United States president.  They also assume we will buy the idea that bond holders can foreclose on governments.  Perhaps American business people could grab Red Square and open a theme park.  Who believes that the Russians would let that happen or that the members of the UN would allow the glass tower in New York to be taken by the same business folks.  So we have to buy that idea along with the notion that all governments on the earth would fold and accept a world government headed by the Secretary General of the United Nations.  It's trash.

If the aim of this Christian film is to get people to think about the value of their lives the plot is left behind.  The performances are limp and the leaps of faith are too wide to even be a science fiction plot.

Anyone looking for spiritual inspiration as Left Behind professes to provide would be better served renting the 1950 The Next Voice You Hear.  Staring James Whitmore and Nancy Davis (Regan) it is a genuine story of the effect on the World through the eyes of one California family,  when the voice of God appears on the radio each evening for a week.  Through small events and the radio broadcasts the family and the community begin to understand the higher meaning of life and how to get beyond the small burdens they face each day.

Left Behind: The Movie

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