Movie Review – Left Behind (2014)

Director: Vic Armstrong

Stars: Nicolas Cage, Chad Michael Murray, Cassi Thomson, Lea Thompson, and a few other unfortunate people who have to have their names associated with this piece of garbage.

Okay, so Left Behind is about a father and daughter who have become estranged from the wife because she’s found god. When the father is piloting a plane to London, there’s a bright flash and the children, as well as a few other people, disappear. This happens on the ground too. But where has everyone gone?

This is a horrible, vile film that has such a haughty, arrogant attitude it makes me sad that anyone thought this was a good idea. On every level it’s terrible. I know Nicolas Cage has acted in some…questionable films but this one is by far the worst. Many people will call this a Christian film, and to say why means I’ll have to go into some spoilers but really it shouldn’t make a difference because you should not watch this. Anyway, it’s the furthest thing from what a Christian film should be.

Now, to be completely honest here I am an atheist. I was brought up a Christian and many members of my family are still religious, but even they would be disgusted by this. What it boils down to is that all us non-religious heathens are condemned to endure the apocalypse while God has reached down and brought the faithful and the innocent souls (otherwise known as children) to heaven. Because of course if you don’t believe in God then you don’t deserve to be saved. In one particularly insensitive area there’s a Muslim character and of course he’s not saved.

As far as I’m aware I was brought up thinking that Christianity was a religion based around forgiveness, acceptance, and tolerance, not judgment. Why would people follow a god like the one portrayed in the film? It shows an ugly aspect of the human soul, and one that should be ridiculed and met with reason and rational thought. The thing is, the film makes a point to bring up arguments against god but it makes no attempt to have a mature response, instead it basically says, “Well you’re wrong, God exists because the Bible says so,” and storms off in a huff. It takes the ontological arguments and puts it on film (basically my god is better than your god because my god exists, but it doesn’t actually offer any proof).

There is actually potential for a good story here. I mean, the script is just so poor. There’s no depth or any attempt at creating a compelling story. But there are hints that the nature of faith could be explored. There’s a small sequence in which Chloe (Thomson) finds a preacher, who saw his congregation ascend to heaven but did not get chosen himself because he did not believe the words. And how would people of other faiths react if it was proven that their religions were false?

Those would be interesting angles, I think, but instead the film seems content to basically say that belief in god automatically makes you a good person and worthy to be saved, but it’s not a good advertisement for the faith. The only merit that comes with this film is that it does veer into ‘so bad it’s good’ territory, so at least you can ridicule it while you watch it, but, yeah, for the message behind it this goes into the pile of the worst films I’ve ever seen.

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