Movie Review: Left Behind: The Movie

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  • Action/Adventure and Science Fiction/Fantasy
  • Running Time: 1 hr. 35 min.
  • Rated PG-13 for violence

Based on the literary interpretation of the Bible’s Book of Revelation, Left Behind presents a fictional adaptation of rapture (the end of times). Rapture is a fundamentalist Christian belief that true believing Christians will be suddenly lifted up from the earth before the beginning of a seven-year rule by the Anti-Christ, which will be filled with earthly suffering and tribulation before heralding the “second coming” and ultimate thousand-year “millennial” reign of Jesus (AS).

The movie, adapted from the eight-volume Left Behind book series co-authored by fundamentalist preacher Dr. Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, has so far sold a combined total of more than 25 million copies. Six of the eight volumes have appeared in the New York Times best selling list.

In Left Behind: The Movie, investigative reporter Buck Williams (sitcom star Kirk Cameron), adulterous pilot Rayford Steele and his rebellious daughter Chloe are left behind when their friends and family members mysteriously disappear one night. In the ensuing chaos, Steele and the local church minister discover a videotape that was recorded two years before by Pastor Billings of the New Hope Village Church who says that he has been raptured along with other Christian believers, and that they should wait for the second coming of Jesus (AS) to be cleansed.

Buck is skeptical, and searches for additional answers; the World’s political system has been thrown into chaos. Finally, U.N. Secretary General Nicolae Carpathia emerges as a harbinger of a new world order that offers peace and unity to the world. He also promises a solution for the world’s food problems – a formula offered by an Israeli agriculture scientist in exchange for peace in the Middle East.

In the meantime, archaeologists find out that the Temple Mount is not located on the site of Masjid Al Aqsa, but rather on a location adjacent to it. The Israelis and the Palestinians agree to rebuild the Temple Mount next to the Al Aqsa compound, and they announce a seven-year long truce.

Buck now discovers that the U.N. Secretary General is actually the Anti-Christ, and the seven-year peace agreement marks the beginning of his reign. The movie then ends abruptly, implying that there will be a sequel.

Left Behind is full of all kinds of negatives including a less then interesting script, sloppy acting, poor dialogue, and an indecisive ending.

Its producers did a reverse marketing stunt by first releasing it on video last October and waiting until now to bring it to the big screen. Video sales, which topped a million copies, came with discounted tickets to the big screen premieres. Christian bookstores and churches were also asked to sponsor the movie in their local theaters. This marketing tactic ironically embroiled the film’s writers and producers in a legal fight. LaHaye and Jenkins, whose names do not appear anywhere in the movie, have filed a breach of contract lawsuit.

By: Ayub Khan

Also, read: Father of the Nation – Gandhi My Father

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