Left Behind

Left Behind

In Theatres: 
Oct 03, 2014
Running Time: 
111 minutes
The Left Behind franchise is extremely popular among the Christian community having produced more than a dozen novels in the series and a trilogy of films starring Kirk Cameron. In an effort to expand beyond just being another faith-based film, the series is being rebooted to give Left Behind the proper theatrical treatment it deserves with an all-star cast and bigger special effects. Unfortunately, neither of the two can makeup for its absolutely horrible story.

Rayford Steele (Nicolas Cage) is an airline pilot whose marriage is in shambles because his wife found God and he isn’t on the same spiritual page as her. Rather than discuss things like adults, Rayford decides to pilot a plane to London on his birthday to spend some time with one of the flight’s young stewardesses, Hattie (Nicky Whelan), unbeknown to him that his daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson) is coming home to celebrate the special occasion.

It’s shortly after the plane is in the air that millions of people all across the world suddenly vanish into thin air. It’s “the Rapture” according to the Bible, and those remaining on the ground are left to fend for themselves in the ensuing chaos, wondering why they didn’t get taken to Heaven.

Left Behind tries to market itself as something more than just another faith-based film but that’s exactly what it is. The only difference is that this one has a bigger budget, and even then that doesn’t help it much.

For a film about the Rapture, Left Behind is actually quite boring. There’s plenty of random screaming, cars honking, and confusion, but it never leads to anything. There’s plenty of talk about God and faith and making up for past sins, but that’s about it. The film is more about the characters caught in the Rapture, than the event itself. Even then, the characters are unlikeable.

Most of the characters are dull and one-dimensional. Nicolas Cage is definition of “hit or miss” and with Left Behind it’s a complete strike out. He doesn’t do much besides fly the plane and try to get in contact with his daughter once the Rapture happens. His wife Irene (Lea Thompson), is portrayed as some crazy and religious nutbag who just so happens to be right in predicting the Rapture. Thankfully her appearance is short lived because she’s one of the people who is taken to Heaven. Then there’s Chloe who has that “I’m better than everyone else” mentality and represents your stereotypical college student. There’s no one worth caring about in the film, and yet somehow we’re supposed to want to follow these characters as they struggle with the aftermath of the Rapture.

Left Behind should have been left on the cutting room floor. All the action happens off screen, and what audiences are left with is preachy dialogue about being saved. It claims to be different from its faith-based predecessors, but not much has changed.
Matt Rodriguez
Review by Matt Rodriguez
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