TBT – Left Behind (2014)


I promise you that I definitely meant to write a bookish post yesterday but I’ve recently contracted the plague. My head feels like it’s full of sea water, aquatic life included, and I swear there is someone trying to jam a screwdriver through my right eye. There are various liquids slowly seeping from every available space on my face and my nose would come in handy on a foggy Christmas Eve night. Yesterday, during the worst day of my cold so far, I genuinely believe there were tiny pixies stabbing me in the head with tiny swords. So as you can see, I really wasn’t in any state to try and come up with a post for you. I am hoping to have recovered enough by tomorrow to manage something but we’ll see if I survive the night. In relation to today’s TBT post, I have to admit that I’m kind of ashamed that I watched this film but, again, in my sensitive state, I really wasn’t able to focus on anything too taxing. So I took to Netflix and searched for Nicolas Cage. Boy was I left with a myriad of shit. My friend and I always disagree about Nicolas Cage. She’s convinced that he has more good films than he does. I admit that there are a few decent ones out there but, let’s be honest, the ration is more in favour of the bad than the good. Still, I will say that his films are probably worth a watch just for how bad they are. I mean, I’m in no rush to see Drive Angry again but I’ll never fucking forget it.

I tried to describe Left Behind to someone I work with today and it just made me sound fucking mental. Starting with the words “it’s a film about the rapture” is bad enough but then you have everything else. It’s a film about the rapture starring both Nicolas Cage and Chad Michael Murray: two of my favourite guilty pleasure actors. It’s a film about the rapture that is actually based around trying to stop a plane crash. It’s a film about the rapture that sees the people that have been “left behind” immediately start looting, attacking each other, and just being general dicks. It’s a film about the rapture that neither promotes Christianity nor really criticises non-believers. It’s a film about the rapture that is so bad it’s not even funny. It’s fucking mental.

Left Behind is the big (ish) budget reboot of a previous film series from the early 2000s. This time starring Nicolas Cage doing, perhaps, the least acting he’s ever done in any film. He plays pilot Ray Steele who is flying from New York to London on his birthday. Why is he doing this? To get away from his overly relgious wife (Lea Thompson) and spend a dirty weekend in England with a sexy, young air hostess (Nicky Whelan). One of their passengers is investigative journalist Buck Williams (Chad Michael Murray) who, by happy circumstance, has just spent the last few minutes flirting with Ray’s daughter Chloe (Cassi Thomson) in the airport. Suddenly, a load of people, including several passengers on the plane, disappear leaving their clothes and belongings behind. Chloe loses her younger brother at the mall and is caught up in the chaos that ensues. She must find her way home safely and see if she can find her mother. When his co-pilot disappears, Ray must find a way to land his plane and save the remaining passengers.

Left Behind sounds like an incredibly parody that you’d see on some sort of sketch show. It’s that fucking ridiculous. But it’s based on a popular Christian novel about the end of days. It’s source material was produced to warn people about the dangers of ignoring religious teachings and not taking God into your life. This film? Well, I’m just not sure what it’s trying to say. All of the Christians depicted in the film are fucking mental so it’s not as if they’re even casting themselves in a positive light. Then, the a lot of the non-believers all seem like really nice people who don’t deserve to be left no Earth to face whatever punishment awaits them. If anything this film just seems to push the idea that God, as the Bible writes him, is a cruel and unfair master. I mean there’s a woman suffering from dementia who is left behind after her loving husband is saved. What kind of God would leave a confused, old lady alone on a plane that’s about to crash?

It’s also just a really bad film. Even when you ignore the preposterous idea at it’s very core this film is just plain bad. It’s badly written, poorly acted and the CGI is just incredibly shit. I mean even Geostorm looks like a technological success next to this film. The worst thing about Left Behind is that it’s not even so bad it’s funny. It sounds like the kind of camp nonsense that could have been played for laughs but everything is handled with such seriousness. There isn’t an ounce of self-awareness within it’s relatively short running time. I mean at least Geostorm has me laughing at it occasionally. I couldn’t do that here. It’d be like laughing at someone with a disability: unnecessary, cruel and immoral. Although, like every other Nicolas Cage film I’ve seen recently, it’s an experience that I won’t forget in a hurry.

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