The Christian Post pans new ‘Left Behind’ remake

05 Oct

So it must be really bad (and not just in its eschatology)!


Not even Nicolas Cage’s wounded puppy-dog look can save the ‘Left Behind’ remake…

The highly anticipated film “Left Behind” hits theaters this Friday, but not even Nicolas Cage’s star power can save the doomed rapture-inspired reboot.

Vic Armstrong’s latest directorial project arrives with Cage in the role of a prodigal airline captain Rayford Steele who is among a small group of survivors in the midst of the Second Coming. Best known for his roles during the ’90’s that include “Face/Off” and “City of Angels,” Cage seems like a non sequitur in “Left Behind.” Also, the actor’s notoriously monotone and soft-spoken voice leaves viewers distracted from what should be his character’s completely unrealistic plight to safely land a damaged plane full of people while halfway between New York and London.

Rounding out the cast of “Left Behind” is Lea Thompson, Jordin Sparks, and Chad Michael Murray, but each actor offers only a weak portrayal of what life would be like in a world of darkness and chaos. In the role of a single mother, Sparks attempts to convey the desperation and agony of losing a child. However, the “American Idol” star struggles through the scene, unconvincingly pointing a gun at others as well as to her own head in a proposed fit of paranoia.


Looking back at its predecessors, “Left Behind” failed to replicate the appeal of the Kirk Cameron-starred film series of the same name. Moreover, “Left Behind” is a far cry from Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins’ massively popular books on which the film is based. In an obvious attempt to set up for a sequel, “Left Behind” focuses on just three characters, resulting in a tediously slow first 30 minutes and making way for an abrupt and nonsensical ending.

In conclusion, where “Left Behind” could have instructed believers and non-believers alike on the story of the rapture, the film disappointingly trips over cheap special effects and a painful script. The viewing experience was also greatly dampened by the quality of the film, including simple lighting and style techniques. The film opens in theaters Friday, Oct. 3.

Well, the ‘rapture’, as popularly understood in evangelicalism today, is not Scriptural, so that’s just as well.

*Update: Left Behind gets the Anthony Sacramone treatment, here.

TL;DR: it sucked, really bad.


38 responses to “The Christian Post pans new ‘Left Behind’ remake

  1. ray

    October 5, 2014 at 9:24 pm

    Nothing to do with Jesus. Nothing to do with the Bible. Tim Lahaye wouldnt know an angel from his wife’s fat ass. They’re all selling the version of ‘religion’ that The Almighty People want.

    Cage might be the worst actor Hollywood’s produced. Everything he’s been in has sucked. Now he sucks in fake-scriptural movies too.

  2. Will S.

    October 5, 2014 at 9:28 pm

    Yep, and yep, and yep, and yep*, and yep. 🙂

    *One exception, but not because he was any good in it: I thought ‘Windtalkers’ was an okay movie; not great, but enjoyable enough. But that’s because it was an interesting story, and Adam Beach is a decent actor. Not because of Cage.

  3. infowarrior1

    October 5, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    They be insulting our intelligence by producing something like this.

  4. Will S.

    October 5, 2014 at 11:52 pm

    True, but they insult their own, too. 🙂

  5. Eric

    October 6, 2014 at 1:58 am

    Those people in the poster look like a photographer captured their expressions in the Studio Office when the director explained the plot to them. They must have been hard up for money, or else they wouldn’t have taken this one on.

    OT: I don’t know who the blonde on the left is, but she’s seriously hot!!!!!!

  6. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 5:46 am

    LOL! 🙂

    Yes, she is. 🙂

  7. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 10:26 am

    @ Eric: Her name is Cassi Thomson.

  8. Kilrud

    October 6, 2014 at 10:27 am

    I remember watching Wind talkers in theaters years ago, and it turned me off of Nicholas Cage until I saw Bad Cop Port of Call: New Orleans

    Here’s a nifty Reference Though now I can appreciate most of his stuff for what it is since he seems like a “non-sequitur” in all his movies. I’m looking forward to this movie too because, futurism is a Jesuit counter-reformation eschatology.

  9. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 10:31 am

    Ha! That’s great. 🙂

    Yeah, like I said, I didn’t like ‘Wind Talkers’ because of him; I liked it in spite of him. 🙂

    The Jesuits, behind dispy pre-mil eschatology? That’s a conspiracy theory I hadn’t heard of. 🙂

  10. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 12:37 pm

    *Update: Left Behind gets the Anthony Sacramone treatment, here.

    TL;DR: it sucked, really bad.

  11. Kilrud

    October 6, 2014 at 2:02 pm

    If you mean conspiracy theory as a synonym for half-baked speculation, you’d be wrong:

    During the Middle Ages and before the Protestant Reformation futurist interpretations were virtually non-existent. To counter the Protestant historicist interpretation of Daniel and Revelation,[3] Roman Catholic Jesuit Francisco Ribera (1537–1591) wrote a 500 page commentary on the Book of Revelation. This commentary established the futurist interpretation of Bible prophecy.[4]

    Preterism has a similar origin:

    There has historically been general agreement with non-preterists that the first systematic preterist exposition of prophecy was written by the Jesuit Luis de Alcasar during the Counter Reformation.[10][page needed][11]

    Although there were some in the early church who held the belief in preterism.

    I doubt he was a dispensationalist, but it looks like Ribera was a mid-trib amillennial.

  12. feeriker

    October 6, 2014 at 8:58 pm

    The original 1995 movie with Kirk Cameron led me to shut it off one-third of the way in and throw the DVD away. If this remake is worse than that, then it might indeed make the list of The 10 Worst Movies Ever Made.

    • Will S.

      October 6, 2014 at 9:11 pm

      @ feeriker: A decade and a half ago, when I was still an evangelical, I rented the original ‘Left Behind’ with my girlfriend at the time (a churchian pastor’s daughter; thus, a bad girl), and we fully intended to watch it.

      However, we ended up ignoring it, and making out instead… 😉

  13. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    @ Kilrud: Interesting!

    Yes, amillennialism, to which I as a Reformed believer in the continental (Dutch) tradition hold, has more or less been the historic view of the church, period; whether Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and that of the Magisterial Reformers:

  14. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    (At least, from Augustine forward.)

  15. Kilrud

    October 6, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    Yea, I wasn’t criticizing him for his amillenialism; I know it’s the stance of historical reformed eschatology.

  16. Eric

    October 6, 2014 at 9:59 pm

    I looked up Cassi on Youtube and she just turned 21. He previous starring role was a music video. But it was with Taylor Lautner; so I guess this film is actually a step forward in her case.

    Still I’d like to have some one-on-one theology discussions with her…

  17. Will S.

    October 6, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    @ Kilrud: I realized you weren’t. 🙂

    @ Eric: 😉

  18. infowarrior1

    October 7, 2014 at 1:30 am

    @Will S>

    I am a premillenialist. Given my plain reading of the bible. The battle of armageddon wouldn’t be possible without a physical literal 1000 year kingdom of God. Likewise the scriptures promising a future just kingdom where people lived like trees would not come to pass. The beating of swords into plowshares etc.

  19. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 1:46 am

    @ infowarrior1: Hey, that’s fine; we can agree to disagree. 🙂

    The amillennial take on the Kingdom of God’s arrival here on Earth is that aspects of it are already breaking into this present world, but that it is not yet fully realized, not fully come and won’t until Judgment Day.

    And we see the long period between Christ’s Ascension and His Return as being represented by the ‘1000 year’ period; already now almost 2000 years. We do not consider the 1000 to be meant to be taken as an actual number, same as we consider the 144,000 saved in Revelation to be a symbolic number, 12000 from the 12 tribes of Israel each, whatever will be the actual number, and God’s people not being any more only national Israel, but drawn from all races, nationalities.

    So, we see things a bit differently. 🙂

  20. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 1:56 am

    @ infowarrior1: A plain reading of the Bible is all well and good, as far as it goes, but as with the Ethiopian eunuch, private interpretations can fail us; in which case, we need someone, or something, to guide us, even though Scripture itself is the ultimate authority. Which is why we have confessions and catechisms. Magisterial Protestants / confessional Protestants therefore do not believe in purely private interpretations, per se; that is a later, evangelical development, from the ‘Second Awakening’ onwards.

  21. infowarrior1

    October 7, 2014 at 2:04 am

    @Will S.
    True that the kingdom of god is already partially breaking in but I cannot envision anything but an earthly kingdom:

    Isaiah 2:1-5
    The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

    2It shall come to pass in the latter days
    that the mountain of the house of the Lord
    shall be established as the highest of the mountains,
    and shall be lifted up above the hills;
    and all the nations shall flow to it,
    3 and many peoples shall come, and say:
    “Come, let us go up to the mountain of the Lord,
    to the house of the God of Jacob,
    that he may teach us his ways
    and that we may walk in his paths.”
    For out of Zion shall go the law,a
    and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.
    4He shall judge between the nations,
    and shall decide disputes for many peoples;
    and they shall beat their swords into plowshares,
    and their spears into pruning hooks;
    nation shall not lift up sword against nation,
    neither shall they learn war anymore.

    5O house of Jacob,
    come, let us walk
    in the light of the Lord.

    Can God in absentia settle disputes and judge between nations?
    Zechariah 14:1-20
    1Behold, a day is coming for the Lord, when the spoil taken from you will be divided in your midst. 2For I will gather all the nations against Jerusalem to battle, and the city shall be taken and the houses plundered and the women raped. Half of the city shall go out into exile, but the rest of the people shall not be cut off from the city. 3Then the Lord will go out and fight against those nations as when he fights on a day of battle. 4On that day his feet shall stand on the Mount of Olives that lies before Jerusalem on the east, and the Mount of Olives shall be split in two from east to west by a very wide valley, so that one half of the Mount shall move northward, and the other half southward. 5And you shall flee to the valley of my mountains, for the valley of the mountains shall reach to Azal. And you shall flee as you fled from the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah. Then the Lord my God will come, and all the holy ones with him.

    6On that day there shall be no light, cold, or frost.a 7And there shall be a unique day, which is known to the Lord, neither day nor night, but at evening time there shall be light.

    8On that day living waters shall flow out from Jerusalem, half of them to the eastern sea and half of them to the western sea.d It shall continue in summer as in winter.

    9And the Lord will be king over all the earth. On that day the Lord will be one and his name one.

    10The whole land shall be turned into a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem. But Jerusalem shall remain aloft on its site from the Gate of Benjamin to the place of the former gate, to the Corner Gate, and from the Tower of Hananel to the king’s winepresses. 11And it shall be inhabited, for there shall never again be a decree of utter destruction.e Jerusalem shall dwell in security.

    12And this shall be the plague with which the Lord will strike all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh will rot while they are still standing on their feet, their eyes will rot in their sockets, and their tongues will rot in their mouths.

    13And on that day a great panic from the Lord shall fall on them, so that each will seize the hand of another, and the hand of the one will be raised against the hand of the other. 14Even Judah will fight at Jerusalem. And the wealth of all the surrounding nations shall be collected, gold, silver, and garments in great abundance. 15And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the donkeys, and whatever beasts may be in those camps.

    16Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. 17And if any of the families of the earth do not go up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, there will be no rain on them. 18And if the family of Egypt does not go up and present themselves, then on them there shall be no rain;f there shall be the plague with which the Lord afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths. 19This shall be the punishment to Egypt and the punishment to all the nations that do not go up to keep the Feast of Booths.

    20And on that day there shall be inscribed on the bells of the horses, “Holy to the Lord.” And the pots in the house of the Lord shall be as the bowls before the altar. 21And every pot in Jerusalem and Judah shall be holy to the Lord of hosts, so that all who sacrifice may come and take of them and boil the meat of the sacrifice in them. And there shall no longer be a trader in the house of the Lord of hosts on that day.

    Are people penalized for not celebrating the festival of booths?

  22. infowarrior1

    October 7, 2014 at 2:06 am

    @Will S.
    ”A plain reading of the Bible is all well and good, as far as it goes, but as with the Ethiopian eunuch, private interpretations can fail us; in which case, we need someone, or something, to guide us, even though Scripture itself is the ultimate authority. Which is why we have confessions and catechisms. Magisterial Protestants / confessional Protestants therefore do not believe in purely private interpretations, per se; that is a later, evangelical development, from the ‘Second Awakening’ onwards.”

    True. But there is indications if a metaphor or hyperbole is used,

  23. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 2:15 am

    @ infowarrior1: We’re not required to still observe specifically Jewish festivals; such are part of the ‘types and shadows’ of the Old Covenant, and as such, no longer apply; as such, there is no penalty for not keeping them. Not sure I get your point; are you suggesting that one day, it will be reinstituted? I have trouble buying that notion.

    I guess, re: metaphor, we amils think we have enough indication from the context.

    Like I said, we’ll probably not see eye to eye on this, and that’s okay. 🙂

  24. infowarrior1

    October 7, 2014 at 5:14 am

    @Will S.
    Actually no. The millennial temple has important differences with the old temple. One is that there is no high priest since Christ is our high priest. No 2. those sacrifices are not for sin but for the purposes of memorial offerings before the LORD another argument is that those sacrifices were for the propitiation of ceremonial uncleanness so that he can appear before the physical glory of God(making the assumption that those approaching the throne are those who are unglorified men) no unlike when Moses was told to take off his shoes when he approached the burning bush that is the Theophany of God even though he himself was saved. Notice that in the OT where they talk about this kingdom there exists no more festival than the feast of tabernacles. All the other sacrifices to do with atonement of sin has been made irrelevant.

  25. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Ah. Yes, I agree that Christ is our High Priest, and therefore has done away with the previous kind of sacrificial form of worship, since He Himself IS the sacrifice, offered once for all.

  26. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 9:51 am

    Christ is of course both God and Man; both the Sacrificial Lamb and the Great Shepherd; both the sacrifice and the High Priest offering it.

    Our religion is a glorious paradox. How marvelous and wonderful is our Lord!

  27. sfcton

    October 7, 2014 at 10:08 am

    Is modern Christian anything worth a damn? Modern Christian music sucks ass; modern Christian movies suck ass and do we really need to get into the value of the typical modern Christan?

  28. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 10:27 am

    If it’s modern-day evangelical, it usually sucks, is my rule of thumb.

  29. bluebird of bitterness

    October 7, 2014 at 12:41 pm

    I’m shocked to learn that this is a real movie. The first time I saw that movie poster, I assumed that it must be satire.

  30. Will S.

    October 7, 2014 at 1:34 pm

    Ha! 🙂

  31. ballista74

    November 10, 2014 at 4:18 am

    I don’t know if I’ll end up using this, but I thought it interesting for here. In truth, whether a rapture exists or not is irrelevant because the servant is supposed to be found doing what the Master set them to do anyway (Matthew 24:36-51). That said:

    This point is especially important today, for a significant portion of evangelical Christianity has come under the influence of an escapist apocalyptic theology. Believing Jesus will soon “rapture” Christians out of the world before destroying it, they have little concern with the church being a witness on issues of social justice, global peace, the environment, and so on. To the contrary, in the name of fulfilling biblical prophecy, many are actively supporting stances that directly or indirectly encourage violence, possibly on a global scale (for instance, extremist Christian Zionism). Since the world is doomed for soon destruction, the thinking goes, the only thing that matters is getting individuals ready for the rapture.
    – The Myth Of A Christian Nation by Gregory A. Boyd p 72

  32. Will S.

    November 10, 2014 at 10:18 am

    I think it’s an important point; theology has real-world consequences, as Boyd demonstrates.

    Now, I’m not sure that it’s up to the church as an institution to get involved with all manner of things, so much as Christians as people have the prerogative to do so, as they feel led to (the church’s main priority being preaching Christ). But nevertheless, certain theological perspectives may tend to induce quietism, rather than a zeal for justice, in those who hold to them.

  33. ballista74

    November 12, 2014 at 5:58 am

    @WillS I will say it is a matter of the Church to relay the will of God into the world. Salt and light and all that. But I think it’s also a good possibility the concept got started as a way to keep the Church from questioning the things going on outside of its own self. In other words, a rationalization that keeps people from caring about what’s going on in the world.

  34. Will S.

    November 12, 2014 at 9:13 am

    Interesting hypothesis.

    Indeed, Christ says we are, and are to be, salt and light. I’ve always taken that as apply to each of us as a follower of His, not only to His collective called out ones, the church, as a whole. And that gives us freedom, joy and privilege, as individuals, as well as the church, to do good works in His name, out in the world

  35. Tom K.

    January 6, 2015 at 3:28 am

    About 30 years ago I came up with an idea for a novel about the fulfillment of the The Revelation of Jesus Christ. In it all the weird symbolism comes literally true – but in a cyberspace world of virtual reality! Seven-headed beasts really do rise up from the ocean and four colored horses really do ride forth to visit plagues, pestilence, famine and war on the world.

    Anyway, I never wrote it because I couldn’t see the point. But it would probably make a better story than Left Behind – all twelve of them!

  36. Will S.

    January 6, 2015 at 10:14 am

    Hey, you should write it! 🙂


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