The Buzz: Left Behind

The Buzz: Left Behind

Sarah Markiewicz, Staff Writer

Those who doubt the religious intentions of Vic Armstrong’s “Left Behind” can rest assured that no one else will be taking this flop of a Christian movie seriously. Of course, the intentions are certainly clear, but they are carried out with such tactlessness that the purpose of the film is self-destructive.
The movie, which itself is a reboot of a trilogy of the same name, is based on a lengthy series of books detailing what the author imagines would happen during the Rapture, which is a prediction of the ascension of Christ’s followers into heaven.

Naturally, this is a topic that is open to so much interpretation that there are many possibilities as to what could happen to those who are trapped on an earth where all of the signs seem to lead to an impending doom for all. Unlike the books or even the first trilogy of films, this adaptation makes no attempt to bring anything new to the story of a dysfunctional family that has been torn apart by this event.

Half of the storyline is contained to a plane full of annoyingly clichéd passengers and an emotionally deadpan Nicholas Cage. Then, back on terra firma, Cage’s daughter in the film darts through a terrorized New York, where the streets are crowded with a scattering of abandoned clothing and the equally abandoned (albeit screaming and looting) unbelievers.

All of this is done while trying to keep the mood of the film in a state of suspense over what had happened to the people who had suddenly disappeared. The portrayal of the disappearances and of the reactions almost prompted me to hope that they might throw some sort of plot twist at us; perhaps some other theory might be more viable (or at least more interesting.)

Along with this lack of deviation toward a more interesting plot, the film fails to inspire any feelings within the souls of the audience, other than amusement over the idiotic behavior of some of the characters. Those who are left behind have shallow personalities and so little motivation that it is difficult to feel much sympathy for them.

For a film about an apocalyptic event I had hoped to see my daunting end-of-the-world nightmares brought before me on-screen, but I have no doubt that many of the stunts in the film were recycled from former horror and disaster films.

With little to prompt action buffs or Christians, the intentions of the film remain vague considering that the original series in itself did not seem to garner much resonance with a popular crowd. While they may have had more planned for those left behind in later films, a second installment seems as unlikely as the instantaneous Rapture shown in the film.