Here it is folks, the long-awaited movie adaptation to the beloved best-selling series Left Behind.
Many feared the movie wouldn't be nearly as good at the books and feared who would be cast
as the main characters. Some worried about how the quality would be? Some if the acting would
be good. I'll give you my opinion on all these factors and more in this look at the film.
The film was produced and directed by Christians and distributed through a Christian
movie company. From start to finish, the film's production quality is no better than
that of a TV movie, but the story is strong and the directing is good. The main character's
acting was solid throughout. Kirk Cameron was wonderful as Buck Williams.
It isn't long before you completely forget his star role as Mike Seaver in the 80s TV
show Growing Pains. He really makes Buck's character come to life and clearly
steals the spotlight. Brad Johnson did a pretty good job as the airline pilot
Rayford Steele. One of the film's best and most moving scene is Rayford's conversion.
Pastor Bruce Barnes is another great character. Played by Clarence Gilyard,
Barnes is one of the most interesting characters in the film. His role of being a preacher who
preached about God but never really knew Him is moving and quite thought-provoking. The characters
of Chloe and others are done well, too, with the special nods going to Gordon Currie
who plays the innocent yet sinister Carpathia.
The movie tends to fall on the violent side at times. Although there is no profanity and
no sex, the film may be slapped with a PG-13 rating when it's released to theaters in February
due to the nature of the film and a few sequences. At one point, they even go as far as to show
a mildly bloody bullet hole in a man's temple twice, briefly. Aside from those scenes, the movie
is virtually spotless. The musical score, as opposed to last year's The Omega Code,
is infinitely better and is rather strong enough to help scenes. The only questionable music choices
would be the Christian pop songs selected for the play in a few scenes. I fear it will date the movie
and that stronger, more appealing songs could have been chosen.
One quite intriguing feature in the film is the presence of a few cameos. Christian
pop/rock artist Rebecca St. James is seen briefly in two scenes and is given
1 line to say. "Butterfly Kisses" man Bob Carlisle also receives a line (although
somewhat poorly executed), and apparently vocalist Clay Crosse has a brief
spot as an extra.
Overall, I liked this movie. The production wasn't all too clean and crisp and theater-quality,
but the direction and fine acting (save a couple not-so-fine extras) kept the film quite enjoyable and
interesting. I can only hope this movie does well and that the following sequels will be
stronger, bigger, and cleaner than its predecessor. A wholesome movie but a little bit
too violent for the younger ones. I suggest catching this film on video before it's release to theaters
and then seeing it again when it hits the big screen (It's said that it's going to be touched up
before it's February 2nd theatrical release). Due to it's so-so production yet
good overall final outcome, I give Left Behind: The Movie a 3 out of 5.
- John DiBiase
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: Rayford and Hattie kiss to imply they're having an affair, but nothing is
seen or done.
Vulgarity/Language: 2 "Oh G-d"
Alcohol/Drugs: Some people drink beer or wine.
Blood/Gore: After the rapture, we see a man walking around the scene of the accident
with a large amount of blood on him from a head wound-- mostly dried up. Buck hurts his leg, creating a big bloody stain
on his knee. Later a man is shot close-range in the head and we briefly see the slightly bloody hole in his temple.
Violence: Car crashes, people hitting each other, people shot and some killed.