Okay, I’m surprised that it took me so long to review this movie considering I reviewed the Kirk Cameron Left Behind
one a while ago. I don’t know why it took me so long to get around to doing this, but I will tell you that this film is bad, so bad. And since I love doing good reviews of bad movies, I should have jumped on this one.
Since I did this on my last review, I won’t bother mentioned that they are based on books written by Jerry B. Jenkins and Tim LaHaye. I remember watching the original 2000 movie and wondering why I didn’t see their names on the credits. I found out later that the authors were upset at the original version of this film, thinking it would have a much bigger budget. As a result, they went out of their way to make certain that there names were not there. For this Nicolas Cage version, their names are there, and they should not be.
This film is very unfaithful to the books, but it has the initial concept of the first book right. That is, the Rapture takes place. Like the first film, both the Christian people and the kids vanish in an event that I still don’t really believe in. In fact, when the Rapture takes place, it happens to the brother of Chloe Steele (Cassi Thomson) who vanishes in a hug, with his clothes being…do I need to say it? Even though this is the film’s most dramatic moments, it is so flippin’ funny. You can see this film’s first problem, especially in a scene in the shopping mall where kid’s clothes are falling from the next level. Why?
But who cares about that, this film has Nicolas Cage, and who doesn’t like him? Cage plays Rayford Steele, who isn’t the main character in the book, but it feels like this adaptation was made so he could be. In fact, the main character of the book, Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) is reduced to a side role.
Rayford is piloting an airplane when he realizes that people are disappeared. From here, the film ceases to be Left Behind like it should be and becomes Airplane III: The Rapture. Only Airplane I and Airplane II were funny because they were trying to be, but Left Behind is funny because it is supposed to be taken so, so seriously. I mean, it’s about the end of the world, but don’t worry, because the Antichrist doesn’t even show up. Instead, Nicolas Cage has to somehow land a plane full of people.
This is really what the film is about, and it has been done before, back in the 1970’s. Just like the scene with the falling clothes, some of the complications of this film don’t make any sense. In one scene, Chloe walks home only to have a School Bus almost hit her, and this is like half and hour after the Rapture happens. I could understand if that happened directly after the Rapture, but the time factor is just too long. Also, as Rayford’s plane is flying, it nearly hits another plane. Did everyone get Raptured on this plane? Shouldn’t we have shown that, or did we not want to focus on people who might get killed in an airplane crash because we’re trying to focus on those that won’t get killed in an airplane crash.
There are also scenes where I jokingly guessed how they would end, and they actually did them. For example, in a scene where Rayford is checking his pilot’s clothes for evidence of why he vanished, I said: “what’s he looking for a card that says John 3:16?” I was wrong, because Rayford finds John 3:16 written on this guy’s watch. I am serious as much as I was joking. At least we get to see Rayford Nicolas Cage the hell out of his vanished co-pilot’s wallet.
Well, needless to say, the plane gets landed, which ends this film on a much more positive note that it needs. It was very clear that this film would have had a sequel if it was a hit, but there is no way that Nicolas Cage, who is in everything, would agree to be in more of these films. So as I said in my last Left Behind review, this project was doomed from the start.