Left Behind Leaves You Wondering About End Times
It Starts with the Rapture
Left Behind is a movie about the first sign that the End Times are upon us. Now, there are many debates about the sequence of events in End Times and like any religion, it requires faith- blind faith that these events will come to pass. So, some reviewers call it a waste of time because maybe they simply think the whole idea is bogus-they are non-believers, yet, this IS the target audience for this movie. Then, others think the Rapture, when God's chosen will suddenly vanish from Earth, occurs after the Tribulations or in the middle or at the start. The fact is that no human knows. So. it does not even matter. There is even a debate about just how many will be in the Rapture. As far as the movie goes, it is moot, but the position is this event occurs at the start of the Tribulations before climate change and wars break out.
The movie is perhaps the only Christian movie that can enter the mainstream audience of movie goers. In the past, all failed because no big name star was in it (this has two and some other A-list actors), the script was overly heavy handed with Christianity and God was mentioned too much, and most lacked action and suspense. Left Behind has it all.
Except for a very few, nearly everyone in the movie is sick of God, in one way or another. There are few devoted believers, true Christians always trying to "spread the word", and as soon as the word "Jesus" enters the conversation, it either inflames a response, "If God was so loving, why is he allowing children to die of cancer" OR they are ignored.
So, Nicolas Cage is a pilot, his wife, Lea Thompson, is a converted Christian on fire with God's word and the Rapture. He is totally sick of it and it pushes him into a hot stewardess. His college age daughter is so turned off whenever her mom mentions the subject, an argument develops ending in her emotionally walking out. It is a very sensitive subject. The younger brother is just too young to care. Thus, because of God and the Bible, the family is ripped apart: there are believers and non-believers. Christians tend to try to convert non-believers in real life and most are heavy handed.
This is where the movie is not. Except for a very few parts, you would not know this is a Christian produced movie, because as the Rapture occurs, which is fascinating, all sorts of panic, action, killing, mayhem occurs with those Left Behind, aka, the non-believers. The daughter even tosses the Bible through a window she becomes so angry at God. Even the Pastor of her church is left behind, because as he said, "I know the Bible so well, yet I did not fully believe".
The Rapture occurs as Nicolas Cage is piloting a 747 across the Atlantic. In the Bible, this Rapture, when it happens, believers will simply vanish from Earth wherever they are, whatever they are doing. In the movie, that "literally" happens. One minute a mother is playing with her kid, then the kid is gone, only the clothes they were wearing are left behind and other belongings. So, when crew members and passengers simply are gone "in a blink of an eye" emotions occur. In the city, a bus slams into others because the driver vanished. But the dilemma for Cage is first the passengers go crazy and woman pulls out a gun, then, another 747 is headed right for them because the pilot vanished. As he veers his aircraft to avoid it, one of his wings is clipped. He is losing fuel and still far away.
In the Rapture, all children and babies vanish in addition to believers. Hospitals are chaotic, traffic is snarled, there are no airports open to land Cage's plane. So, he crash lands onto a uncompleted new highway. His daughter manages to finally get home to see her mom, who, of course, is gone. Only her "Jesus" necklace remains in the shower with water running. Her brother is also gone.
LEFT BEHIND has decent effects and acting. Cage won't get an Oscar for his role but he gave the film success. It will appeal to those who believe and those who do not for different reasons, which is fine. This film leaves you with a nagging thought if you are non-believer, it is, what IF it does happen? Am I going? Is my faith strong enough? If you are a Christian, are you like the preacher?
I tend to think that the reason for any bad review of this is because the reviewers are like the characters of Cage and his daughter, the whole concept of God, Jesus and End Times makes them horribly biased. Not even interested in what might actually happen. Obviously, they will be Left Behind, LOL.