Left Behind (2014) | Teen Ink

Left Behind (2014)

December 9, 2018
By CoolPoet737 DIAMOND, South Burlington, Vermont
CoolPoet737 DIAMOND, South Burlington, Vermont
85 articles 5 photos 16 comments

According to the Bible, the Rapture is when all Christians get suddenly taken into heaven by God, leaving non-believers to suffer through a seven-year Tribulation period that involves mass destruction, famine, plagues, and the Antichrist (among many other horrible things) before Armageddon happens. This intriguing premise opens itself up to all sorts of thought-provoking, heart-wrenching, and extremely disturbing story possibilities. Unfortunately, the 2014 film adaptation of the popular Left Behind series is the virtual opposite of any of those things.

It starts off predictably enough, with philandering airline pilot Rayford Steele (played by hunky Nicolas Cage) flirting with sexy airline attendant Hattie Durham while arguing with his college-age daughter Chole, whose deeply religious mother Irene effectively split the entire family with her beliefs a while ago, all while the "world-famous" journalist Cameron "Buck" Williams looks on (and makes some rather creepy advances towards Chloe). Everyone exchanges banal conversations for about a half-hour or so before the Rapture happens, resulting in Rayford trying to calm his hysterical passengers to no avail while Chloe tries not to get killed by mobs of murderous looters and empty vehicles crashing all around her. And yes, this is exactly as thrilling as it sounds.

Besides the painfully obvious fact that it doesn't even remotely follow its source material to the point that all it shares in common with it is a few of the main characters' names (although the book's authors inexplicably loved it anyway), this movie is just unbelievably awful in every single imaginable way possible. The plot is ridiculously convoluted (and surprisingly boring at times), the acting is stiff as a post, the situations are often unintentionally hilarious (children's clothing falls from the sky, a woman starts randomly spouting Bible quotes completely out of context, a man threatens someone with an electric toothbrush, people literally start robbing and killing each other five seconds after the Rapture happens, upbeat music plays during an attempted suicide, a grieving mother steals the departed Air Marshall's gun and uses it to threaten the lives of everyone unless they give her child back, an intentionally set fire randomly blows up buildings in slow-motion, an entire city goes up in flames for no reason), and the length is painfully overlong to the point where half of this nearly two-hour long movie could have been cut without any difference being made to the plot whatsoever. However, what really taints the film more than anything is that however many pointless crashes and explosions there may be, it's really just a preachy, overly melodramatic religious drama thinly disguised as a cheap action flick.

None of this is meant to prevent you from watching the movie. In fact, if you like epically bad films, or just want to laugh at something enjoyably stupid to pass the time, by all means, check it out. However, if you want a thoughtful, serious take on this massive Biblical event, then you won't mind being Left Behind without this incoherent mess.

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