I am referring to the recent reboot, not the original movie. I have my own issues with those Kirk Cameron movies, but that’s a different thing altogether. My issue today is with the Nicolas Cage film, released last year. I just watched it on Netflix and just had to share a few thoughts about it.
First off, it wasn’t my first time seeing it. I saw it when it first came out. I was just bored, scrolling through Netflix on my PS3 looking for something interesting to watch when I came across it. Didn’t even know it was on Netflix. So I turned my lights off, sat back and watched it again.
I have read all twelve books in the main Left Behind series, and even read the prequel trilogy (and yes, I know there are thirteen in the main series, but I couldn’t finish Kingdom Come. Halfway through and nothing had happened). So I have some idea how this series SHOULD have been told, which I’ve always said shouldn’t be a Christian film studio. That’s because of you want to believably portray how the post-Rapture world is going to be, it can’t be with Christian actors who would be too afraid to act as ungodly as is depicted in the series. So when I heard there was going to be a Left Behind reboot starring Nicolas Case, I was excited, thinking this was what I’ve been wanting. Unfortunately, the studio wanted something different.
The reason I say that this is not a Christian film is that while it does present several of the Christian ideas behind the Rapture, and actually includes the Rapture, it does it in a mocking way. The few Christians in the movie are made to look like “wackos” (as Chloe Steele decides to call them). While I admit these characters are atheists at the beginning of the series, this film was intended as a stand-alone film, and only covers the first couple chapters of the book. They changed so much of the story that they could have called it anything else and no one would likely have made the connection.
However, I don’t really care if they kept the story intact. It’s the message I care about. In the film, Chloe visits Pastor Bruce Barnes. This would have been good if either he got through to her or they were planning on making a sequel to further his story, because he’s the one who convinces Rayford, Chloe, and Buck that this was the work of God and they are given this last chance to come to Him. Instead, in this film she criticises him, makes him look like a bad guy, and then leaves. You never see him again.
By the end of the movie, Rayford realizes what’s going on, so maybe he might believe if they furthered the story. But while they end with Chloe saying things were about to get way worse, she had no reason to believe. Everything up to that point had just made her angrier with God. Sure, she found out her dad was alive, but after everything she’d witnessed up to that point and how hard her heart was, I don’t think that would convince her of anything. I really wish they would have adapted the whole book.
Actually, I’ve thought that the only way to really do the series justice would be to make a seven season TV series (or even Netflix Original), that way they didn’t have to try and cram every detail into a two hour movie. Do each year of the Tribulation as a whole season of 25 episodes each. I’d love to watch that.
Oh, and before I end this post, I hear so many people say that the characters at the beginning of the series are offensive to Christians, because they’re horrible role models. Well, isn’t that the point? If they were perfect role models, they would have been Raptured. By the end of the series, these characters have grown so much that they are indistinguishable from who they were at the beginning. If you’ve never read the series, I highly recommend it.