MOVIE REVIEW: “Left Behind” stars Nicolas Cage (Raising Arizona, Rage), Cassi Thomson (Grave Halloween, Big Love [TV series]), Chad Michael Murray (One Tree Hill [TV series], A Cinderella Story), Lea Thompson (Back to the Future, Caroline in the City [TV series]), Nicky Whelan (Hall Pass, The Wedding Ringer), Martin Kleeba (Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, The Cape), Alec Rayme (Escape Plan, RED), and Jordin Sparks (Sparkle, The Grace of Jake). It is directed by Vic Armstrong (Army of One, A Sunday Horse), while the screenplay is written by Paul Lalonde (Revelation, Tribulation) and John Patus (The Mark, The Apostle Peter: Redemption). Based on the New York Times Bestseller, this film takes place during the Rapture, as many individuals are taken from earth by Jesus, while those who don’t believe in Christ are left behind to rot in a hell fire on this planet. We focus on a pilot named Rayford Steele (Cage), as he tries to land a plane amidst chaos, and his daughter, Chloe (Thomson), as she walks around seeing the horror that is the Rapture.
You know what’s the best part about a Nicolas Cage film? Nic Cage, of course! You know what’s the worst part? Everything else. Well, in most cases that is, and “Left Behind” is “sadly” one of them. Gasp! Say it ain’t so! Sorry guys, I guess you’re going to have to stick with reading Revelations. To go into detail of how awful this release is would seem idiotic. I’m sure all of you have heard of it and how it is considered complete trash. I’ve heard the warnings myself, but decided to jump into this dumpster fire of utter garbage and discombobulation. Why? Because why not?! I’m one of those guys who knows monstrosities when he sees one, but will still watch it anyway since it is enjoyable to see how low a story can sink. To say that this movie is bad would be an understatement. This has to be the worst of the worst; the biggest piece of crap that has ever laid itself before my eyes. Just when you thought that cinema had its bad days, you see “Left Behind,” a prime example of how not to make a film. But Juicy Reviewer, how can you say that when this is a religious movie? Aren’t you a Christian? Didn’t you like “The Ten Commandments”? Good question, anonymous reader whom I made up. Yes, I am a Christian, but making that an excuse to like this movie would be like me saying that 2015’s “Fantastic Four” is the best comic book release since it has Reed Richards, my favorite Marvel character (don’t ask). I could be the most religious man on the planet or the most inept and still find this to be the holy grail of atrocities. A huge portion of this hatred has to resonate from this flick’s story. When you talk about the Rapture, an event in which the events of Revelations takes place and people are judged to decide their fate (life in Jesus or hell on earth), you would want it to be captivating. Maybe even interesting. Whoever sat down to pen this script must’ve been on some sort of acid trip because what he came up with was nothing close to those adjectives. We are shown two perspectives; one of a father and one of a daughter. They both were left on earth during this catastrophic event because they didn’t believe in Jesus. Nic Cage plays a pilot who commits acts of adultery with a mad woman thirty years his junior (mad because…why him?), and his daughter, played by some chick, is just an obnoxious jerk who loves to talk about how crazy religious people are for no apparent reason. I loved the fact that we were shown the perspective of those who were left instead of those who were taken. You know why? Because I can relate to people who cheat on spouses, murder, gamble, and work for the government. Yes, we all sin, but come on now! I didn’t care for a single one of these characters! I wasn’t telling myself “I hope Nic Cage survives this event so he can get freaky with the flight attendant!” Heck no! When you have a film full of characters you can’t care for nor relate to, what’s the point? What are you there for? Apparently, I’m here for the story! And what necessarily happens in this? Well, we see Nic Cage pilot a plane through heavy, pixelated green screens, his passengers babble amongst their diverse selves (midget gambler, check, Muslim, check, drug addict, check), and Cage’s daughter roaming the streets for what seems to be an eternity. This plot spends more time focusing on how people look when they lose a loved one rather than the progression of the Rapture itself! Think of it this way: you take a two-hour film and cut out all but the first thirty minutes. You then take that thirty minutes and stretch it into two hours. Badda bing, badda boom; you got yourself “Left Behind.” I can’t begin to explain how agonizing it was to see Cage’s daughter walk the same streets for an hour, looking at people cry into the clothes of those who vanished (in an awful transition, I might add). There was nothing for her to do! All she did was watch others! Then we get shots of the plane, where our man of the hour, Nic Cage himself, tries to polish this piece of doo-doo into something great. He does give quite the show at times, in his usual Cage fashion, but it wasn’t enough to save his feature (like it ever was). Much of the dialogue that is spoken in this movie either deals with flimsy bickering over the power of God or rehashing conflicts that are already understood and should’ve been “left behind” in the first ten minutes (pun not intended). Nothing in this holds weight; nothing progresses. And just wait until you see the ending! Boy, howdy hey, it’s wonderful! Just when you thought that there might be a resolution, there isn’t. One hour and forty minutes of talking about how someone wronged another, whether it is in a cockpit or a food court, we got the same talk. But, there is a silver lining in this: if you wait long enough, you will see a midget get thrown out of a plane. Yes folks, jump onto YouTube and watch it unfold. It surely makes up for the torture of watching this! What more can I say about this? The acting could’ve been done better by a five-year old, the plot held no meat, and there is nothing to take from this, besides a small guy landing on a slide. It is the worst film that I have ever seen in my life. I wouldn’t have been able to get through it without the commentary done by myself and those who trudged through it with me. Although it can be hilariously bad at times, it’s not as nearly entertaining as Cage’s finest achievement, “The Wicker Man.” If you want to watch a prank pulled by Phase Four films in order to torture the public, then see this. If not, I’d clear away from this runway. FINAL SCORE: 7%= Burnt Popcorn
This movie has been inducted into The Burnt Hall of Shame.
Here is the trailer:
Here is the Oscar-winning clip: